Cassidy: CBO Estimate ‘Makes Me More Concerned’ About O’Care Repeal Bill

UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., leaves a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Capitol Visitor Center on the investigation of President Trump's campaign ties to Russia on May 18, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said Monday that a new estimate from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill made him “more concerned” about the bill.

But Cassidy maintained he was still “uncommitted” to voting one way or another on the bill, and stressed he had only just seen the CBO report.

“It makes me more concerned,” Cassidy told CNN’s Jim Sciutto, minutes after the report was published.

The CBO estimated Senate Republicans’ bill would result in 22 million fewer people having insurance in 2026, versus the status quo.

“I’ve been uncommitted, and I remain uncommitted,” Cassidy said. “I mean, just dead, line, uncommitted. But it certainly makes me more concerned. It makes me want to explore this more.”

At various points in the interview, Cassidy said “I don’t quite understand it,” referring to the CBO report, and “I’m looking at a headline.”

I don’t mean to defer, I just haven’t read the report yet,” he said.

After weeks of writing the bill in secret, Senate Republicans released it for the first time on Thursday. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly preparing for a vote on the bill as early as this coming Thursday.

Asked about White House aide Kellyanne Conway’s outlandish claim over the weekend that the Senate bill would not cut Medicaid — many members of the Trump administration have made similar, incorrect claims — Cassidy refused to engage with the analysis.

“Is the GOP misleading Americans about what’s actually in this bill?” Sciutto asked, after referencing Conway.

“Kellyanne Conway is not the GOP,” he said. “I just can’t address that.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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