GOP senators see CBO report as call to change plan

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Republicans are fractured over whether to replace Obamacare subsidies with refundable tax credits that would be based on a person's age rather than their income.

Some Senate Republican responded to the release of a Congressional Budget Office report Monday — which found that up to 24 million more Americans would be without health insurance within 10 years under a Republican health care plan — by saying that they expect the House proposal to be changed in the Senate.

“The bill’s likely to change in the House and again in the Senate,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, after the CBO report was released.

The report offers new ammunition to Senate Republicans who have already expressed concerns about the decrease in coverage included in the House plan.

Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine, said, “Obviously I am concerned about the number of people who the CBO has estimated would be at risk of losing their insurance.”

Collins, who is proposing her own health care plan, said that changes in the Senate were likely.

“Well we have the opportunity to change the bill,” Collins said. “I know that the House and Senate don’t always see eye to eye and I suspect this will be one of those times.”

The comments come despite a promise from House Speaker Paul Ryan that the House plan will not be altered.

Ryan released a statement highlighting the positive feedback the CBO gave his plan, and reiterated his promise that the current GOP proposal is just the first step in a “three-pronged approach.”

“This report confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and improve access to quality, affordable care. CBO also finds that this legislation will provide massive tax relief, dramatically reduce the deficit, and make the most fundamental entitlement reform in more than a generation,” Ryan said in a statement.

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