FLASHBACK: Earlier this Year, Graham, Cassidy, Heller Said CBO Scores Vital to Vetting Health Care Bills

This week, Senate Republicans once against exposed their partisan hypocrisy by recklessly dismissing the need for a full CBO score of the Graham-Cassidy-Heller health care bill before voting on it, even though–as recently as this summer–Senators Dean Heller, Lindsay Graham, Bill Cassidy, and many others said they needed a CBO score to evaluate health care bills.

Without a CBO score, basic information such as how many people will lose coverage, how much premiums will increase, and how much more care for common pre-existing conditions will increase will not be known. The Senate GOP’s game plan is to keep Americans in the dark — because they know the more the American people learn about their latest Trumpcare plan, the more they hate it.

“The same senators trying to ram this latest disastrous Trumpcare bill though Congress were — just months ago — eloquently explaining why a comprehensive analysis by the Congressional Budget Office was essential to understanding health care legislation. Blinded by partisan desperation and terrified of primary challengers from their far-right base, Senate Republicans, like Heller, Cassidy, and Graham are fighting to recklessly pass this law without even knowing the basic facts. It’s the height of hypocrisy, and a disgrace,” said American Bridge President Jessica Mackler.

Hypocrisy Alert:

Sen. Dean Heller Said He Was Waiting For CBO Before Deciding How To Vote On Obamacare Repeal. According to Politico, “Mitch McConnell’s current whip count to repeal Obamacare is far short of 50 votes. There is still no bill, and even Republicans are moaning about the rush and lack of transparency. […] ‘I will vote for this if it’s good for the state of Nevada,’ Heller said Tuesday. As to whether the emerging outline is good for the state, Heller couldn’t yet say. ‘I’m going to find out when I see the CBO,” he said. “What will make me comfortable is a discussion with the governor.’” [Politico, 6/20/17]

Sen. Bill Cassidy Wanted CBO Score Showing Trumpcare Doesn’t Insure Fewer People Than Obamacare. “CASSIDY wants to see a CBO score that shows any replace plan doesn’t insure fewer people than Obamacare as Trump promised. Or add to debt.” [Steve Dennis – Twitter, 3/6/17]

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “Any Bill…Not Scored? Needs To Be Viewed With Suspicion.” “‘Like y’all, I’m still waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). ‘Any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours, going to be debated three or four hours, not scored? Needs to be viewed with suspicion.’” [Politico, 5/5/17]

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “We Like The CBO When They Agree With Us…When They Don’t, They’re A Bunch Of Losers.” “Graham, however, argued that his GOP colleagues should spending time reviewing and trying to address the the budget office’s findings. ‘We like the CBO when they agree with us,’ the South Carolina senator told reporters. ‘When they don’t, they’re a bunch of losers.’” [The Hill, 3/13/17]

Sen. Ron Johnson: Calls For CBO Score As The Starting Point For Debate, “We Need Better Information At The Start Of The Process.” “Johnson said he’s not asking for the discussions to go on for months, but ‘let’s take a couple of weeks and be thoughtful. Give me a chance to make the case to improve it.’ He did say he’ll vote no this week on a measure to move the bill forward, as he believes it’s too early to make that decision. ‘This is such an alternative universe,’ said Johnson. ‘We’ve gotten through the process until we get the CBO score, at the end of the process. We need better information at the start of the process.’” [Newsmax, 6/27/17]

Sen. Jeff Flake: Commenting On GOP Plans For ACA Repeal And CBO Score: “It Is Difficult To Move Ahead When You Don’t Know Much Of The Score” During an interview on CNBC, Flake was asked about the GOP’s Obamacare repeal plan and if anything be done without the CBO score? He replied: “That score will be out on Monday, but yea it is difficult to move ahead when you don’t know much of the score. I am anxious to see it and what we can do if the score doesn’t come out well to improve it.” [Jeff Flake on CNBC, 3/9/17]

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito: “I Look Forward To Reviewing The Revised Senate Health Care Legislation And Forthcoming CBO Report To Determine The Impact On West Virginians.”“Any health care bill to replace Obamacare must provide access to affordable health care coverage for West Virginians, including our large Medicaid population and those struggling with drug addiction. I opposed the previous draft because it did not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, did not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cut traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harmed rural health care providers. I look forward to reviewing the revised Senate health care legislation and forthcoming CBO report to determine the impact on West Virginians but continue to have serious concerns about the Medicaid provisions.” [Sen. Capito Statement, 7/13/17]

Sen. Cory Gardner On BCRA: “We Need To Learn More And Get The Information And Numbers Behind It […] We Have To Look At The Numbers.” “Told reporters ‘we need to learn more and get the information and numbers behind it …. That’s not a no. It’s not a yes. We have to look at the numbers.’ (To reporters on 6/22).” [CNN, 6/27/17]

Sen. Chuck Grassley: Can’t Vote On A Bill Until There Is A CBO Bill. Q: That means more people who be coverage? CG: only thing I would caution about that CBO was wrong with ACA.  They said everyone would have insurance but 29 million don’t. Voter: Well it is in the ball park.  Head of CBO is appointed by Ryan. CG: People in CBO take great pride in how they look at numbers.  They aren’t always right. Q: Will you wait for CBO before you vote on anything? CG: Can’t vote on a bill until there is a CBO bill. [Chuck Grassley, Town Hall, Greenfield, IA, 6/2/17]

Sen. John Cornyn: “The CBO Score On The Senate Bill Is Going To Be What Counts.”“Cornyn: ‘The CBO score on the Senate bill is going to be what counts.’” [Twitter, 5/24/17]

Sen. Roy Blunt: “The Senate’s Going To Have To Have The Kind Of Score They Need To Move This Forward.” “‘The Senate’s going to have to have the kind of score they need to move this forward and the Senate’s going to be looking at this to see what we can do to take the House work, look at what the House did, look at what we can do to improve that in our view,’ Blunt told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [The Hill, 5/7/17]

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA): CBO Score “Becomes An Important Part Of The Consideration For The Final Product.” “‘I don’t think it slows it down, but it’s very important,’ Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a member of the 13-member working group focused on health care, said about the CBO score. ‘It becomes an important part of the consideration for the final product.’” [Morning Consult,5/10/17]

After House Passed AHCA, Sen. Jeff Flake Refused To Say Whether He Would Vote For The Bill Commenting, “We’ll Wait For The CBO Score” And Said Senate Wouldn’t Vote Until CBO Score Was Released. According to Vox, “As the Obamacare repeal bill became the Senate’s problem on Thursday afternoon, senators offered wildly varying reviews on its chances of passage — suggesting the fate of the American Health Care Act is at the moment shaky at best. […] And Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), another crucial swing vote, said there wouldn’t be a Senate vote on the bill until the CBO score is released. Pressed on whether he would vote for the bill based on what he expected the score to show, he demurred. ‘We’ll wait for the CBO score,’ he said.” [Vox, 5/4/17]

Sen. Deb Fischer She Said Would Not Vote On The Proposal Without Seeing A Congressional Budget Office Analysis First. “We Need A CBO Score. I Want To See A CBO Score Before I Vote.” According to KETV, “Fischer said there hasn’t been close door meetings. Adding that all Republicans have been invited to attend. ‘I have requested that we have a health care meeting on what were are going to be looking at,’ Fischer said. She said would not vote on the proposal without seeing a Congressional Budget Office analysis first. ‘We need a CBO score. I want to see a CBO score before I vote,’ Fischer said.” [KETV, 6/16/17]

Sen. John Hoeven: “I…Want To See The CBO Score And Additional Analysis Of The Legislation.” “As I’ve said all along, our overall goal for health care reform legislation is to provide Americans with access to patient-centered health care and health insurance at an affordable rate. I did not support the Senate’s first draft. Now, I will review the new draft legislation and want to see the CBO score and additional analysis of the legislation. I will reserve judgment until we do so.” [Sen. Hoeven, Statement, 7/13/17]

Sen. Joni Ernst On Trumpcare: We Will Take Things Into Consideration With CBO Score.Ernst: Obamacare is not sustainable as is.  There is no choice for some.  Can’t repeal entire bill and that is what the AHCA.  We will take things into consideration with CBO score. [Joni Ernst, Town Hall, Des Moines, IA, 3/17/17]

Sen. Ted Cruz On The Republicans’ Proposed Healthcare Bill: “The CBO Report Underscores Why The Bill Needs To Do More To Lower Premiums.” According to the San Antonio Express News, “Senators and congressmen from Texas reacted Monday to the latest developments in the Republicans’ proposed health care bill as it heads to a possible vote in the Senate by the end of the week. […] U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas: “The CBO report underscores why the bill needs to do more to lower premiums. In particular, we need to do more to enact common-sense reforms that will expand competition, expand options for consumers, and make health insurance more affordable.’” [San Antonio Express News, 6/27/17]