Republicans Disregarded the C.B.O., but It Won’t Be Ignored

In Healthcare, The Upshot On

Now that the House has passed its big health care bill, it will find out what that bill could actually do.

The Congressional Budget Office, Washington’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, did not have time to evaluate the effects of the American Health Care Act before Thursday’s vote, since the bill was being amended until just before passage. But the budget office will not ignore the health law, and next week it is expected to release detailed estimates of how many people will be covered by the bill, and at what cost to the government.

Several senators have said they won’t proceed with the bill until they know more about its effects.

Republicans’ reluctance to wait for updated estimates became a rallying cry among Democrats critical of the bill. Democrats called out “Where’s the score?” on the House floor Thursday during debate over the bill.

During the debate over the Affordable Care Act in 2009, the budget office played a central role. Many Democratic lawmakers would not vote for the bill without knowing how many more people it would cover or that it would not increase the deficit. This time House Republicans, who have assailed the budget office’s calculations as inaccurate, were far less concerned about waiting for a score.

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