WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) is leading 95 Democratic members of Congress to demand that Speaker Ryan give the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) time to “score” the substantive changes to the Republican healthcare repeal bill before scheduling it for a vote in the House. To “score” a bill is to identify the policy’s impact on the federal budget and the American people. Last week, a CBO analysis found that 24 million more Americans would be without health insurance under the new law and that out-of-pocket costs would rise, especially for seniors. This disastrous score does not include changes made to the bill this week after negotiations between Republican leaders and their conservative colleagues, which would begin cuts to Medicaid next year instead of 2020 and accelerate the tax cuts aimed at the wealthiest Americans.
Despite these significant changes, the House may move forward and vote on the bill without a single hearing or an updated CBO score. Rep. Peters, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement:
“Republican leadership rushed their healthcare repeal through committee before everyone had a chance to figure out how much it would cost or who it would leave uninsured, and now they are doing the same with these changes.
“The analysis last week from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found this bill would leave tens of millions more Americans without health insurance and dramatically raise costs for working families and seniors.
“These changes negotiated in a backroom don’t fix the bill. They make even further cuts to Medicaid and coverage for working families, while speeding up tax cuts for wealthy people, who don’t need them.
“Before scheduling a vote on this healthcare repeal bill, Speaker Ryan should at least provide Congress and the American people with an independent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office on how his new version would change the accessibility, affordability, and quality of healthcare working families can expect to receive.”
Signatories to the letter were as follows: Ted Lieu (CA-33), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05), John Garamendi (CA-03), Adam Smith (WA-09), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Timothy Walz (MN-01), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Bill Foster (IL-11), Mark Takano (CA-41), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NY-12), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Michelle Lujan-Grisham (NM-01), David Scott (GA-13), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Judy Chu (CA-27), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Donald S. Beyer (VA-08), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), David Cicilline (RI-01), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Susan Davis (CA-53), Norma Torres (CA-35), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Dina Titus (NV-01), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Seth Moulton (MA-06), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01), Stacey Plaskett (V.I.-At Large), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Jared Polis (CO-02), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Ami Bera (CA-07), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At Large), Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), John Sarbanes (MD-03), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Joseph P. Kennedy, III (MA-04), Daniel W. Lipinski (IL-03), Darren Soto (FL-09), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Alma Adams (NC-12), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Beto O'Rourke (TX-16), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), James R. Langevin (RI-02)
The letter can be read in full HERE or below:
Dear Speaker Ryan,
We write to urge that, as you revise the American Health Care Act, you resubmit the bill to the Congressional Budget Office and receive an updated score prior to floor consideration. The score released by CBO on Monday demonstrated how significant any substantial healthcare reform is for the American public. In making and reforming healthcare policy, Congress must evaluate and understand how any policy proposals will affect access, affordability, and quality of care. The American public deserves to know the ramifications that changes to current policy will have for their ability to receive the healthcare they need.
During your time as Speaker, you have committed to ensuring an open and transparent legislative process. We ask that as the House considers legislation of this magnitude, you honor that commitment. Therefore, as you and your conference contemplate making changes to the bill, it is critical that the changes be subject to an independent, public, non-partisan evaluation to help Americans understand what consequences your legislation holds for them.
Scott H. Peters
Member, U.S. House of Representatives (CA-52)