Senate Republicans’ health care bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured over a decade, according to a new Congressional Budget Office projection that could complicate the party’s push to hold a vote on the plan this week.
The estimated coverage losses are just slightly lower than the House-passed version of the Obamacare repeal bill, which may alarm Republican moderates who have pushed Senate leaders to craft a more generous bill.
The Senate legislation would also cut the federal deficit by $321 billion over 10 years, driven by deep cuts to Medicaid and skimpier aid for people purchasing private coverage on their own. Those savings far exceed the $119 billion target set by the House bill, meeting a key requirement for Republicans hoping to pass the Senate bill through a fast-track budget process needing just 51 votes.
With Democrats solidly lined up against the repeal bill, Republican leaders can only afford to lose support from two of their members. But five GOP senators have pledged to vote against the current draft of the bill since it was released Thursday, and several more are undecided.
Republican leaders, meanwhile, recommitted to holding a vote on their bill dismantling Obamacare in the coming days, ahead of the July Fourth recess. After suggesting over the weekend that the vote could be pushed back into next month, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn on Monday said Republicans “need” to pass the bill this week.
The CBO analyzed an updated version of the legislation that now includes a “continuous coverage” provision. The provision is meant to discourage people from waiting until they’re sick to purchase health insurance.