White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday said no one can know the effects of the American Health Care Act on sick Americans until the bill goes into effect.
Spicer said there are “so many variables” to take into account when trying to make a determination on how legislation would affect people with preexisting conditions, which has been a major sticking point about the legislation in recent days.
“To do an analysis with any level of factual basis would be literally impossible,” Spicer said at the daily White House press briefing.
The American Health Care Act has undergone a number of changes in recent days, including the addition of an amendment that critics say would weaken protections for people with preexisting conditions.
The amendment, offered by Rep. Tom MacArthur, would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal parts of Obamacare’s protections if they can prove it would lower costs. Centrist GOP members have expressed concerns about the addition, because many health-policy analysts say it could undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions.
Spicer argued that the AHCA, even with the amendment, would protect Americans with preexisting conditions. He said they would still have affordable coverage.
The AHCA has not received any updated analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan federal agency that estimates the effects of of the bill — including coverage gains or losses, the effect on the deficit, and any long-term changes on people’s premiums. The CBO said it would not have a score for the updated AHCA until next week at the earliest.
A GOP source told Business Insider that members expect the AHCA to be brought to the floor of the House on Thursday.
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