Time and again, Senate Republicans demanded an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before they would vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act. This analysis let the Senators know about how much people’s premiums and costs would increase and how many people would lose coverage.
Now, as they rush a partisan, secretly drafted health care repeal bill to a vote, Senate Republicans don’t seem to care. They don’t want to know the truth about how much their constituents’ health care costs will go up or how many will lose coverage. Senator Lindsey Graham put it best himself when he said that a bill without a CBO score “needs to be viewed with suspicion.”
See the history for yourself.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Any Bill…Not Scored? Needs To Be Viewed With Suspicion.” “‘Like y’all, I’m still waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). ‘Any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours, going to be debated three or four hours, not scored? Needs to be viewed with suspicion.’” [Politico, 5/5/17]
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “We Like The CBO When They Agree With Us…When They Don’t, They’re A Bunch Of Losers.” “Graham, however, argued that his GOP colleagues should spending time reviewing and trying to address the the budget office’s findings. ‘We like the CBO when they agree with us,’ the South Carolina senator told reporters. ‘When they don’t, they’re a bunch of losers.’” [The Hill, 3/13/17]
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) Called For A CBO Score, Wants To See How Many People Lose Coverage, How Much Is Added To The Debt. [Steven Dennis Tweet, 3/6/17]
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): Calls For CBO Score As The Starting Point For Debate, “We Need Better Information At The Start Of The Process.” “Johnson said he’s not asking for the discussions to go on for months, but ‘let’s take a couple of weeks and be thoughtful. Give me a chance to make the case to improve it.’ He did say he’ll vote no this week on a measure to move the bill forward, as he believes it’s too early to make that decision. ‘This is such an alternative universe,’ said Johnson. ‘We’ve gotten through the process until we get the CBO score, at the end of the process. We need better information at the start of the process.’” [Newsmax, 6/27/17]
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “I Think We Need To Do The Job Right, And We Certainly Need A CBO Analysis.” “‘I think we need to do the job right, and we certainly need a CBO analysis,’ she said on Thursday afternoon. ‘Part of the problem is we don’t have a CBO analysis of the impact of the bill, so I don’t know what it is for coverage and cost sharing and the individual insurance markets. There are so many unanswered questions.’” [Vox, 5/4/17]
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): On CBO Not Having A Score In Time For GCHJ, “That’s Problematic.” “Sen. Susan Collins said she is upset that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office won’t have enough time to fully review a last-minute bill to overhaul Obamacare. The Maine Republican has not taken a position on the bill co-sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. However, she said she was concerned that CBO said that it won’t be able to determine how the bill would affect insurer coverage and premiums by early next week. ‘That’s problematic because that is part of the problem of short-circuiting the process,’ she told reporters Monday.” [Washington Examiner, 9/18/17]
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): If Senator Mitch McConnell Does Not Honor Normal Senate Processes And Traditions, “They Won’t Have The Votes In The Senate.” “There was also a creeping concern about how quickly the bill was moving. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, essentially promised to move the bill to the Senate floor without the hearings and other processes that are normal for such a far-reaching piece of legislation. He had promised when Republicans took the majority that they would honor normal Senate processes and traditions. ‘I think if that’s the approach they take,’ Mr. Rubio said, ‘they won’t have the votes in the Senate.’” [New York Times, 3/8/17]
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND): “I…Want To See The CBO Score And Additional Analysis Of The Legislation.” “As I’ve said all along, our overall goal for health care reform legislation is to provide Americans with access to patient-centered health care and health insurance at an affordable rate. I did not support the Senate’s first draft. Now, I will review the new draft legislation and want to see the CBO score and additional analysis of the legislation. I will reserve judgment until we do so.” [Sen. Hoeven, Statement, 7/13/17]
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA): CBO Score “Becomes An Important Part Of The Consideration For The Final Product.” “‘I don’t think it slows it down, but it’s very important,’ Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a member of the 13-member working group focused on health care, said about the CBO score. ‘It becomes an important part of the consideration for the final product.’” [Morning Consult, 5/10/17]
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “The CBO Score On The Senate Bill Is Going To Be What Counts.” “Cornyn: ‘The CBO score on the Senate bill is going to be what counts.’” [Twitter, 5/24/17]
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): “The Senate’s Going To Have To Have The Kind Of Score They Need To Move This Forward.” “‘The Senate’s going to have to have the kind of score they need to move this forward and the Senate’s going to be looking at this to see what we can do to take the House work, look at what the House did, look at what we can do to improve that in our view,’ Blunt told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [The Hill, 5/7/17]
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): “We’ll See When CBO Comes Back How That Scores…” “On the other side, Flake views the bill’s refundable tax credits as more taxpayer subsidies. ‘We’ll see when CBO comes back how that scores, but it’s still pretty expensive,’ Flake said, referring to the pending cost and coverage estimates by the Congressional Budget Office.” [AZ Central, 3/12/17]
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): “I Look Forward To Reviewing The Revised Senate Health Care Legislation And Forthcoming CBO Report To Determine The Impact On West Virginians.” “Any health care bill to replace Obamacare must provide access to affordable health care coverage for West Virginians, including our large Medicaid population and those struggling with drug addiction. I opposed the previous draft because it did not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, did not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cut traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harmed rural health care providers. I look forward to reviewing the revised Senate health care legislation and forthcoming CBO report to determine the impact on West Virginians but continue to have serious concerns about the Medicaid provisions.” [Sen. Capito Statement, 7/13/17]