* House Speaker Paul Ryan was so anxious to put a few points on the board that he had the House vote on their Obamacare repeal bill before the CBO scored it. As it turns out, that Rose Garden celebration with Trump afterwards may have been even more premature than many of us thought at the time.
House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t yet sent the bill to the Senate because there’s a chance that parts of it may need to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects. House leaders want to make sure the bill conforms with Senate rules for reconciliation, a mechanism that allows Senate Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority.
Republicans had rushed to vote on the health bill so the Senate could get a quick start on it, even before the CBO had finished analyzing a series of last-minute changes. The CBO is expected to release an updated estimate next week…
According to several aides and other procedural experts, if Republicans send the bill to the Senate now and the CBO later concludes it doesn’t save at least $2 billion, it would doom the bill and Republicans would have to start their repeal effort all over with a new budget resolution. Congressional rules would likely prevent Republicans from fixing the bill after it’s in the Senate, the aides said.
If Republican leaders hold onto the bill until the CBO report is released, then Ryan and his team could still redo it if necessary. That would require at least one more House vote of some sort.
…reluctant Republicans will once again be forced to decide whether to back it. Only this time, they would also be saddled with the CBO’s latest findings about the bill’s costs and impacts.
* Beyond the problem of having to vote after CBO reports on it’s costs and impacts, here’s something else that might give Ryan a pretty big headache.
REMINDER: AHCA passed by 2 votes.
—Chaffetz is leaving in June.
—MT-AL election is next week. https://t.co/olCD1LORka
— ☪️ Charles Gaba ✡️ (@charles_gaba) May 18, 2017
* One of the lies that Trump told at his press conference today was, “Obamacare is dead. It’s a fallacy. There is no healthcare.” That is an absurd statement in and of itself. But it is even more disturbing given what Noam Levey reported today.