As the White House and GOP leaders scramble to win back several prominent defectors from their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to warn wavering House members not to stake their reputations on a bill unlikely to ever to reach the President’s desk.
“Even if the new version of Trumpcare passes the House—we hope it doesn’t—its chances for survival in the Senate are small,” he said. “So to my moderate Republican colleagues in the House, I ask, why would you risk a yes vote for a bill that is devastating to your constituents and has virtually a minuscule chance, probably no chance of becoming law?”
Schumer also criticized both the policy and process behind the American Health Care Act, which he repeatedly branded “Trumpcare,” saying a new amendment drafted Tuesday night will do little to solve the basic problems at the heart of the legislation.
“The significant changes House Republicans are proposing to the bill would still cause premiums and deductibles to rise, would still jack up the costs on low-income and older Americans, and most importantly, it doesn’t change a thing about the 24 million fewer Americans who would get health care,” Schumer said. “Second, it’s unwise, irresponsible to rush through a brand-new bill without a new [Congressional Budget Office] score, without committee hearings, without any debate on the floor of the House.”
Schumer noted that without an analysis from the non-partisan CBO, which calculates the impact of legislation on the federal deficit, it is far from certain that the bill can pass the Senate on a simple majority vote under the reconciliation rules. The CBO reported in March that the original GOP health care bill would reduce the deficit by more than $300 billion dollars over a decade. But lawmakers have made several major changes to the bill since then, and are not seeking an updated score.