A repeal of the new U.S. healthcare law would add to already huge federal budget deficits, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned on Thursday, Reuters reported.
In a preliminary estimate of legislation being pushed by Republicans in the House of Representatives, the CBO said that repealing the law President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats enacted would “increase federal budget deficits over the 2012-2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion.”
CBO also said repeal would result in 32 million fewer people having health insurance.
A top House Republican said Thursday that the GOP continuing with plans to attempt to repeal President Obama’s health care reform to “send a signal” to the American people, even as Senate Democrats have the votes to thwart any rollback, Politico.com reported.
The escalating battle in Congress over health care reform comes as the Los Angeles Times reported that Blue Shield of California plans to hike individual rates by 59% on March 1. The insurer sited the costs and expenses related to the new health care law as the reason for the increases.
Senate Democrats have said attempts to gut the bill are “a colossal waste of time” as they won’t bring a vote on repeal to the floor if it passes the GOP-controlled House.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has gone on many major TV shows, to get out the GOP message. Republicans, he said, “do care about health care” but believe there’s a better way to make improvements.
Cantor said he made it clear during a Wednesday conference call with President Barack Obama and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that Republicans “want to work with you on spending cuts and making sure you re-evaluate as far as regulation is concerned so we can see growth return to our economy.”
But, Politico.com reported, in letter to members of Congress, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged the GOP not to push for the health care law’s repeal. “If the Affordable Care Act were repealed as some have proposed, the individuals we have heard from plus the millions of families, seniors, other individuals, and small businesses already helped would lose this support and these protections,” they wrote. The law, they added, will “bring us closer to the day when all Americans can get the care they need to live healthy, productive and full lives.”