While the Senate healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), faces a plethora of political obstacles, one of its biggest tests will come Monday.
That’s the day GOP leaders expect the Congressional Budget Office to release its updated score for the legislation.
The previous edition of the CBO score was a huge sticking point for moderates, and Democrats pounded the unflattering conclusions.
The CBO projected that 22 million more Americans would be without health insurance in 2026 under the BCRA compared to the current system. It also predicted that many people would end up paying higher out of pocket costs and face significant financial burdens, offsetting the lower premiums.
According to experts, it is unlikely that the CBO score will budge much based on the revisions released on Thursday.
“I don’t see a lot here that would meaningfully change the CBO score. We’re still likely to see many millions of people losing or going without coverage as a result of this bill,” Cynthia Cox, an associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-policy think tank, told Business Insider. “Although some of the taxes on wealthy people are retained, the bill doesn’t appear to use much of that to cover low-income people.”
Matthew Fiedler, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, agreed that coverage losses would still be massive.
“This is still a bill that will result in very large reductions in insurance coverage and reductions in the quality and affordability of the insurance coverage for many people who retain coverage,” Fiedler told Business Insider.
There is some question as to what exactly the score released Monday will include. Additional language based on an amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz may not be part of the CBO score, since it was added later in the process. If that’s the case, the score may not present a full picture of the legislation.
The Trump administration’s repeated attempts to discredit the CBO intensified over the past week with a social media video attacking the office’s projections.
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