During the debate over the House Republican plan, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) made clear she was unimpressed with the GOP proposal. Any bill resulting "in 23 million people losing coverage is not a bill that I can support," the Maine Republican said in March.
OK, how about 22 million?
The Senate health care bill would insure 22 million fewer people after a decade than current law, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
It would save $321 billion in the same period overall by spending $1 trillion less on health care and using the savings to repeal the Affordable Care Act's taxes, which primarily affect wealthy individuals and medical companies.
The CBO's full report is online here. Note that the impact imposed on the nation would be felt almost immediately -- there would be 15 million more uninsured Americans next year, which happens to be an election year, according to the non-partisan office's estimate -- before getting worse in the years that follow.
Complicating matters, the CBO score added, "By 2026, among people under age 65, enrollment in Medicaid would fall by about 16 percent and an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law."
I should concede that this report is quite a bit worse than I thought it'd be. Senate Republican leaders worked fairly closely with CBO officials while writing their secret legislation, getting periodic updates. Indeed, it's one of the reasons the CBO score, which would ordinarily take two weeks, was turned around so quickly.
With this in mind, I figured Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) office would carefully game the system, and tweak his blueprint in such a way that the numbers would look less awful. But if that was the plan, it failed spectacularly: the CBO's findings are, or at least should be, a punch to the gut of proponents of Senate Republicans' legislation.
Donald Trump has gone out of his way lately to say he wants to see a health care bill "with heart." By any sensible standard, it's now painfully obvious that the GOP legislation fails this simple test.