The Congressional Budget Office report that suggests 14 million people could lose health insurance under the House GOP plan “doesn’t tell the whole story,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Monday.
In a prepared statement issued after the CBO released its report, the Spokane Republican said the office study does project that taxes, premiums and the federal deficit would go down, taxpayers would save money on Medicaid. Consumers would have more choices and flexibility in selecting plans, she said.
“CBO doesn’t take into account future actions Congress and the Administration will take to further lower costs and increase coverage options,” McMorris Rodgers said.
She can expect to get a call and a letter Gov. Jay Inslee, who said Monday he will lobby Washington’s congressional delegation to oppose the proposed changes. Inslee said the CBO estimate of people who will lose insurance tracks closely with a report delivered to the National Governor’s Association last month.
At that time, the governors couldn’t get assurances from Health Secretary Tom Price or President Trump that millions of Americans wouldn’t lose coverage, Inslee said.
“If this doesn’t slow down the freight train, I don’t know what will,” he said, referring to the Republican health care replacement as “a tax cut plan for their rich friends” that would result in less coverage and higher costs, especially for some senior citizens. Earlier estimates said 600,000 Washington residents could lose insurance.
Inslee urged Republicans in the Legislature to “speak up” and oppose the House plan as some GOP governors have. Earlier in the day, however, Republican legislative leaders said it was too early to speculate on the possible effects on Washington. Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, said they expect the plan to change once it gets to the Senate where it will need to pick up some Democratic support.
Sen. Patty Murray, the state’s senior Democrat, said the CBO report shows the plan breaks a promise from Trump and other Republicans that they could provide better coverage for everyone at lower costs. Instead it would end coverage for millions, “spike premiums, gut Medicaid, target seniors for higher costs and throw our health care system into chaos,” she said.