Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell Statement on New CBO Score & Delay on Republican Health Plan

Mar 23, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement in response to the postponement of the vote on Republican health care proposal, and the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring on the bill including the Manager's Amendment.

"When your initial plan causes 24 million Americans to go without health care coverage, you need to start over. That’s what many of my colleagues across the aisle are realizing today," Rep. Pascrell said. "In a display of further legislative incompetence by Republicans, the CBO now tells us that revisions to their bill will cost $186 billion more, but won’t cover any more Americans."

"The Trump administration’s refrain has been that, even if people have coverage, they don't have care. But, in fact, the number of Americans who claim that financial cost impedes their utilization of care is at its lowest point ever. So not only is this Republican argument a fallacy, today we learning of its hypocrisy," said Rep. Pascrell. "Republicans, indeed, are seeking to cut a deal with extremists by removing the Essential Health Benefits requirement, which mandates that insurers cover hospital, outpatient, emergency and maternity care, as well as prescription-drugs and mental health/substance abuse treatment. By offering to remove the EHB protection at the 11th hour, Republicans expose their disingenuous talking points by supporting a return to the days when insurance companies were at the center of the patient’s care, free to discriminate against the elderly, the sick, and women. Under this giveaway, insurance companies would be able to manipulate their benefit packages to quarantine the sick and elderly into their own risk pool, forcing ever-increasing premiums and deductibles on those who need care the most; others would have to buy skimpy and inadequate policies. Striking EHBs is the definition of “coverage without care.”

“Overall, Republicans again offer no ideas to rein in healthcare cost-drivers. They merely devise new ways to shift costs onto vulnerable populations. Americans are noticing this misdirection, realizing that Republican talking points ring hollow, and that the party proves incapable of presenting serious health care policies. The Quinnipiac Poll shows that Americans disapprove of this proposal by more than 3-1. Unable to corral the votes, Republicans have delayed their vote on this unpopular and heartless bill, only to consider making it even more cruel by removing EHBs. I advise my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are interested in true health care reform to scrap this bill and work with Democrats on sound fixes to the ACA," Rep. Pascrell said.