GOP rushes to vote without knowing full impact of healthcare plan – BY CRISTINA MARCOS AND PETER SULLIVAN – 03/23/17 10:38 PM EDT


“Have you read the bill? Have you read the reconciliation bill? Have you read the manager’s amendment? Hell no, you haven’t!”

Greg Nash

That was then-House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2010 in the heat of the debate over ObamaCare.

Seven years later, Democrats could easily turn those words around on Republicans for the strategy they’re using to repeal and replace the same law Boehner railed against.

House Republicans are moving forward with a vote Friday on their ObamaCare replacement bill even after making significant changes the night before, and without a Congressional Budget Office analysis of those changes.

“We haven’t seen the final bill and won’t have a @USCBO score on the latest version before a vote,” Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) tweeted Thursday night. “This is not regular order, @SpeakerRyan.”

“We must have the opportunity to read and understand the final bill before we vote. It’s irresponsible to do otherwise,” added conservative Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) in a tweet Thursday night.

Republicans on Thursday night announced that they would make some significant changes to the bill with the intention of winning over conservatives.

The most prominent of those changes is to repeal ObamaCare’s essential health benefits, which mandate which health services an insurance plan must cover, including areas like mental health, prescription drugs, and maternity care. The GOP will also add $15 billion to a “stability fund” to the bill in order to provide mental health and maternity coverage, which will be paid for by keeping ObamaCare’s 0.9 percent Medicare tax on high earners for six years.

Repealing the essential health benefits could have far-reaching consequences for the legislation and for the U.S. healthcare system, but the CBO will not have time to release an analysis of the change before the vote on Friday.

“With these amendments, no,” House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told reporters Thursday night when asked if there would be a new CBO report.

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