Senate Healthcare Replacement Gets CBO Score

- June 27th, 2017

Similar to the House bill, the Congressional Budget Office has scored the revised Senate healthcare bill, pointing to a major decrease in coverage for Americans.

Similar to the House bill, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the revised Senate healthcare bill on Monday (June 26), pointing to a major decrease in coverage for Americans as the GOP attempts to reduce the federal deficit.
The report estimates that roughly 49 million people won’t have coverage under the new bill by 2026, compared to 28 million under the current system.
Average premiums for single individuals would rise by 20 percent and 10 percent in 2018 and 2019 respectively, CNBC reported.
The report also indicated the insurance markets will continue to be stable throughout most of the US; however, uncertainty remains regarding the bill changes, if passed, that could cause insurers to withdraw from some states.

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According to the CBO score, this legislation would bring down the US federal deficit by $321 billion between 2017 and 2026.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell has indicated he would like a vote on this bill by the end of the week, or June 30. Many key Republican senators previously indicated they would not comment on which direction they were leaning towards regarding the bill until the CBO score was officially made public.

Majority Republican support gets shaky following CBO score

As reported in the New York Times, McConell can’t lose more than two Republican votes in order to pass the legislation thanks to the Republican majority in the Senate. However, five GOP senators have already announced they can’t support the bill as it stands.
Republican Senator Dean Heller announced in a press conference he could not support the bill in its current form.
“This bill would mean a loss of coverage for millions of Americans, and many Nevadans… I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans,” Heller said.
Following the announcement, several Democratic Senators cried foul against the nature of the bill and continued their attack on the process in which it was worked on by their colleagues.
Senator Kamala Harris issued a statement saying the priorities of the bill are “backwards” and called it “downright immoral.”
“It will make premiums go up an average of 20 percent next year and cause coverage to be worse. All while giving insurance companies and the top 1% tax breaks,” Harris said.
Senator Brian Schatz went a bit further with his description of the GOP legislation.

Delayed Vote

The AP reported Senate Republicans have decided to delay the vote on this bill, previously expected this week, due to insufficient votes for the bill to pass.
“At least five GOP senators — conservatives and moderates — had said they would vote against beginning debate, and the bill would be derailed if just three of the 52 Republican senators vote against it,” as reported by the AP.

Investor Takeaway

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) saw a minor decrease of 0.31 percent on Monday and finished the trading day at 3,344.19 points. By Tuesday (June 27), the index had dropped to 3,285.41 points as of 2:26 p.m. EST. CNBC had previously explained the market will pay close attention to the CBO score on the House health care bill due to a close tie between the progress of health care and the much-promised tax reform. House Speaker Paul Ryan has been gearing up his intentions to target taxes right after the health care clears through for Republicans.
Don’t forget to follow @INN_LifeScience for real-time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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