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CBO Sets Time to Release AHCA’s Cost Estimates

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The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday hinted that it is getting many questions about when it will release its analysis of the version of the American Health Care Act bill that the House passed, 217-213, last Thursday.

The CBO posted a blog entry simply to say when it and the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation hope to finishing scoring the version of the bill, H.R. 1628, that passed.

(Related: Senate ACA Replacers May Tap Medicare Surtax and Net Investment Tax)

Republicans in the House developed H.R. 1628 in an effort to eliminate Affordable Care Act coverage mandates and taxes, and to replace the ACA’s income-based health insurance tax credit with a new age-based tax credit. 

The CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation analysts hope to post their cost estimate of the new version of H.R. 1628 early in the work week that starts May 22, according to Deborah Kilroe, the CBO’s associate director for communications.

The CBO “will provide advance notice of the date and time of release before publishing it,” Kilroe writes.

The CBO is an arm of Congress that helps Congress understand how legislation might change federal revenue, federal spending, and the people, companies and other parties that might be affected by the legislation.

CBO analysts estimated in March that an early version of H.R. 1628 might reduce the gap between federal revenue and federal spending by about $337 billion over 10 years, and that the early version of the bill might increase the number of uninsured people by 24 million.

(Related: CBO Sees AHCA Cutting $337 Billion From the Deficit)

The release date of the new CBO impact score might have a practical effect on Senate aides, lobbyists and others with an interest in efforts to change or repeal the ACA.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell said in a statement last week that the Senate would begin considering H.R. 1628 after it received the CBO budget scorekeeping review.

Some groups in the Senate, including one led by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, appear to be working on proposals of their own already. The Senate alternatives might surface after the CBO review comes out.

— Read H.R. 1628: 5 AHCA Change Highlights for Agents on ThinkAdvisor.