As the Senate once again gears up to take on healthcare, the Congressional Budget Office has warned that it will not be able to release a full score on the Graham-Cassidy bill before a potential vote.
CBO posted a notice Monday that it intends to release a preliminary report on the Graham-Cassidy bill by early next week, but said that it will not be able to provide an analysis of the bill's impact on premiums, insurance coverage or its impact on the federal budget deficit for several weeks.
The report, which is being prepared by the Joint Committee on Taxation, will include findings on if the bill is likely to reduce on-budget deficits to the same degree as the American Health Care Act, whether parts of the bill will save $1 billion and if the Graham-Cassidy measure could impact on-budget deficits in the long term.
The CBO posted the notice after leading Democrats called on it to release a full review ahead of a potential vote in a letter (PDF) on Monday. The GOP has an extremely slim window to push through the Graham-Cassidy measure, or any measure on healthcare, as a bill must be passed by Oct. 1 for it to pass through budget reconciliation.
CBO aims to provide preliminary assessment of Graham-Cassidy bill by early next week https://t.co/tgrDGngGxk— U.S. CBO (@USCBO) September 18, 2017
The bill, spearheaded by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-Lousiana, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, would repeal the ACA and replace it with an annual block grant to states that would "help individuals pay for healthcare." Cassidy said late last week it was nearing the votes needed to pass.
Senate Democrats held a four-hour "talk-a-thon" Monday night on the Senate floor to protest the Graham-Cassidy bill. Speakers included Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Cory Booker, D-N.J.
In other Affordable Care Act news on Capitol Hill:
- The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing next Monday on the Graham-Cassidy bill, Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced. The hearing, which begins at 10 a.m., will allow senators from both parties to "delve deeper into its policy and gain a better understanding of what the authors hope to achieve.”
- A number of patient and provider groups came out Monday against the bill. A group of 16 organizations, including the American Heart Association, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society and American Lung Association, criticized funding cuts to Medicaid and essential health benefits and urged further bipartisan cooperation.
- President Donald Trump is leading the charge on getting state governors on board with the bill, Graham said in an interview with Breitbart News. Trump is going to "close the deal" with some of the reluctant governors, Graham said.
- Though there may be momentum for the Graham-Cassidy bill, it puts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a tough position, as he must shepherd a bill his leadership team had no role in creating, reports Roll Call.
- House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said at a town hall event Monday night that the Graham-Cassidy bill is "our best, last chance to get repeal and replace done," reports CNN. He said the time crunch would not allow for negotiations in a House-Senate conference, so he would bring the bill to the floor if it passed in the Senate.