Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today decided to delay a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA) given strong resistance from both conservative and moderate members of his party to begin debate on the bill.  The delay comes after the release of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the BRCA on Monday.

The CBO estimates the bill will result in 22 million fewer people with health insurance and would reduce the deficit by $321 billion over 10 years.  The changes primarily result from cuts to the Medicaid program and lower subsidies to help with the purchase of health insurance.

The CBO score includes an amendment that would lock people out of the individual market for at least six months for failure to maintain continuous coverage.  The score also reflects similar coverage losses to the House bill, which estimated a loss of coverage for 23 million Americans. However, the Senate bill resulted in substantially higher reduction, $321 Billion vs. the House draft which was scored to cut $133 Billion over 10 years.

Republicans plan to re-write the legislation over the July 4th recess and will then seek a new analysis from the CBO before bringing the revised bill up for a vote.  A timeline is uncertain, but the Senate is scheduled to be in session for the three weeks following the holiday.

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) has joined with other national groups to oppose the BCRA and is asking members of Congress to vote no on this legislation.

SDAHO continues to encourages its members to contact Senator Thune and Rounds to express concerns about the BCRA and its devastating impacts on the most vulnerable citizens in South Dakota.