Sen. Bill Cassidy on “Awful” CBO Score For Obamacare Replacement Bill

Audio clip:

On Monday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the number of uninsured people would grow by 14 million in 2018 under the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill, with that number rising to 24 million in a decade. The long-awaited analysis from the nonpartisan congressional scorekeeper is likely to shake up the debate in Congress over the measure, which could come up for a vote in the House next week. The estimate of the drop in coverage is larger than even many analysts had predicted, and critics of the replacement plan are speaking out. Republican Senator for Louisiana, former U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District from 2009 to 2015, and physician Sen. Bill Cassidy joined Kilmeade and Friends today to discuss the CBO score, saying "It's an awful score for the authors of the bill. You can't sugar coat it."

Sen. Cassidy, who authored an alternative healthcare bill called the Patient Freedom Act which would return power to states and to patients, also spoke out about the idea of giving people a choice when it comes to choosing healthcare being a contributing factor to the CBO report's numbers:

A lot of that is related to Medicaid coverage, which granted there are tremendous problems with Medicaid, but there's about 10 million people on the exchanges, so even if you completely close the exchanges and made all those folks uninsured you still have more people uninsured because of this. And by the way, let me point out the more people who are uninsured, I'm a doctor, they go to the emergency room, they get admitted to the hospital. The cost of that hospitalization is shifted to the privately insured, and so people paying for their own insurance pay more to cover those who are uninsured. It would be a cost driver, it would raise premiums for those buy their own insurance.

Sen. Cassidy on giving states the option to remain in Obamacare in his alternative healthcare bill:

We give states the option to do what they have the option to do already.  So we say state capitol, we're going to give you what we call the better choice. We think everybody will take it, but if you want to stay in status quo, God bless you, you can do it. The 10th amendment of the Constitution says that the federal government shouldn't be telling you what to do unless it's one of these specifically enumerated issues. So states, you can do it, God be with you. And the third option that they can have is to tell the federal government to take a hike, we don't want you. So we allow states to stay with the status quo, but frankly they can do that already.

Listen to the full interview below: