The US House of Representatives will send its ‘Trumpcare’ bill on to Senate and the next step towards passage in a few weeks, US House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said today.
The delay on moving the bill forward was “out of an abundance of caution,” Ryan said during a radio interview, as the Congressional Budget Office will be releasing its findings on the revised healthcare bill next week. The Office said today that it plans to release its score of the bill next Wednesday.
The CBO’s score will take into account final changes to the bill that went into effect before it passed the Republican-led House earlier this month.
“We are just basically being overly cautious, but there’s really kind of a non-issue here. We’re moving it over to the Senate probably in a couple of weeks,” Ryan told the syndicated Hugh Hewitt show.
The nonpartisan group scored a previous iteration of the bill, estimating it would cause 14 million individuals to lose healthcare next year, with 24 million losing coverage by 2026. The earlier version would also cut $337 billion from the federal budget deficit over 9 years, while premiums for individuals purchasing insurance increasing 15-20% in 2018 and 2019.
The plan narrowly passed in the House on May 4, despite clashes between conservative and moderate members of the Republican Party and a lack of review from the CBO. Ryan said that the CBO score would not force another vote in the House.
Passage in the Senate will be a more difficult hurdle, with Republicans holding a narrower majority there. Certain Rep. Senators have already stated that they want to start from scratch with a new healthcare bill.
Public opinion of the bill has been shown to be slipping, with a Politico/Morning Consult poll reporting that 44% of nearly 2,000 people polled expressing disapproval of the bill shortly after it was passed, with only 38% supporting it.
The Republican’s bill is designed to repeal most Obamacare taxes, such as a penalty for not purchasing health insurance. It would cut funding for Medicaid and roll back Medicaid expansion. Earlier this year, the bill was withdrawn from the House due to a shortage of votes.
Nearly 20 million Americans gained healthcare coverage under Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Republicans say the program is an example of government overreach and that it drives up premiums for the average American. But the ACA has garnered support in recent public opinion polls, according to Reuters, and Democrats hope that the partisan vote for Trumpcare will impact next year’s midterm congressional elections.