IMPORTANT UPDATE: I'm guessing all that Bud Light is skunked by now, Speaker Ryan.
Hey, remember this?
Cases upon cases of beer just rolled into the Capitol on a cart covered in a sheet. Spotted Bud Light peeking out from the sheet
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) May 4, 2017
Yeah, well, about that...
House May Be Forced to Vote Again on GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill
House Republicans barely managed to pass their Obamacare repeal bill earlier this month, and they now face the possibility of having to vote again on their controversial health measure.
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.
Gee, if only someone had suggested that you at least wait until the CBO released their score of the final version of the bill before voting on it.
"Unaware," said Representative Jeff Denham of California, with noticeable surprise Thursday, when advised that his party leaders still hadn’t sent the bill over to the Senate. Denham was one of the House Republicans who ended up voting for the measure, after earlier in the week opposing it.
...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.
...Republicans had a sizable deficit reduction cushion -- $150 billion -- before several amendments were added to the bill at the last minute, including changes allowing states to legalize much skimpier health insurance plans.
If the CBO assumes that none of the states decide to file an exemption waiver, then the AHCA should operate exactly as horribly as the prior version would have: 24 million people kicked off their policies, $880 billion cut from Medicaid, etc etc. However, it wouldn't be any worse either.
If, however, the CBO assumes that a bunch of states do take HHS up on the AHCA's waiver provision and that those waivers are approved (which they would almost certainly be, since Tom Price is HHS Secretary and the waivers would even be approved by default unless actively denied), that could eat into that $150 billion in theoretical savings significantly, depending on which states, how many people are impacted and how the domino effect impacted other parts of the healthcare industry:
It’s unclear what assumptions the CBO will make about what states will do with that newly created flexibility. If millions of people sign up for much cheaper, minimal insurance, that could trigger billions -- and potentially even hundreds of billions -- in costs over a decade because of the House bill’s health insurance tax credits.
Remember, that theoretical $150 billion in "savings" is over a 10-year period. That's only $15 billion per year on average; the needle wouldn't have to move that much to wipe that out. Of course, it's also conceivable that the projected savings would be higher as well; the CBO has to take a lot of factors into consideration.
"We’ve got to wait for the CBO score," said Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which authored much of the bill. "To prove that you meet the reconciliation test."
Really? Really, Congressman Walden? Gee, perhaps you should have thought of that two friggin' weeks ago before you voted on it the first time???
But other senior Republicans weren’t aware that leaders had been holding onto the bill.
"I had no idea," Dennis Ross of Florida, another member of the vote-counting team, said Thursday, adding that the prospect of another vote "does concern me."
GOP leaders never said publicly they were planning to hold on to the bill for two weeks or longer.
UPDATE: It's important to note that this is not necessarily going to happen; there's a very good chance that the CBO will still project the AHCA to "save" well more than $2 billion, given that $150 billion cushion. If that happens, then I presume they can forward it to the Senate as is after all and this will be much ado about nothing. Even so, it underscores the jaw-droppingly reckless and sloppy fashion in which the GOP is attempting to cram this through.
VITALLY IMPORTANT UPDATE!! It turns out that the GOP may not, in fact, have actually ordered cases of “Bud Light” to celebrate destroying millions of lives:
In this era of “fake news,” it’s more important than ever to not let unverified rumor or libelous insinuation get in the way of the facts of the matter, which is that a bunch of soulless, greedy, waterlogged copies of Atlas Shrugged stuffed inside ugly suits stood around the White House yesterday, laughing and jacking each other off about how they’d successfully sentenced so many of their constituents to die just so they and their cronies could get a huge tax break, but while doing so, they most definitely did not drink Bud Light.