GOP healthcare bill passes huge test with its CBO score

The Congressional Budget Office released their updated score for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House GOP health bill, on Wednesday.

The report from the CBO on the amendments added just before the AHCA was passed by the House shows that 23 million more Americans could be uninsured by 2026 compared to the current healthcare system, slightly lower than the 24 million estimated under the previous iteration of the bill.

Importantly, the score projects that the AHCA will cut the federal deficit by $US119 billion, $US32 billion less than the $US151 billion cut in the previous report.

This was key because Republicans plan to consider the bill under the reconciliation process in the Senate. By these rules, the bill must shave off at least $US2 billion from the federal deficit in order to be considered.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has yet to send the AHCA to the Senate in anticipation of this CBO score. In the event that it did not shave off $US2 billion, an amendment would have been needed to move the bill to the upper chamber, but would have likely viewed as a referendum on the totality of the bill.

Given the razor thin margin on the AHCA vote when it passed, a second vote would have likely been nerve wracking for GOP leadership.

Despite the new score, the Senate is expected to craft their own version of a healthcare bill instead of using the current form of the AHCA.

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