Senate Republicans pounced on a report by congressional accountants that showed an effort to reshape the U.S. healthcare system would cost more than $1 trillion while covering only one-third of the uninsured.
Under a bill drafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Congressional Budget Office said that roughly 39 million Americans would seek coverage through a health insurance gateway, driving about 15 million people out of employer-based coverage and along with another 8 million more insured through other means, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million.
While only a portion of the bill was submitted to the CBOwith several major components yet to be fully draftedRepublicans were near united in their criticism of the legislation. Its unacceptable, and it isnt healthcare reform, said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a member of the HELP Committee that drafted the bill, adding that the analysis should be a wake-up call to scrap the current bill and begin anew.
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), who has helmed the committee in the absence of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said he was disappointed in the CBO numbers, saying that the nonpartisan group is good at putting a price tag on how much certain provisions will cost, but theyre not very good at providing the other side of the ledgerwhat are the cost savings.