There were a lot of analyses that suggested $8 billion over five years was pocket change compared to the potential costs to sick people if Affordable Care Act rules are waived, as I reported yesterday. And the critics were trying to outdo each other with the metaphors — like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who said the Upton amendment was "like administering cough medicine to someone with stage 4 cancer."
But Upton and House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden both said it should be enough, Caitlin Owens reports. Why? Because of the same point we made earlier this week: Republicans just don't think that many states will apply for the waivers. Walden said the money would only be needed in "extremely limited" situations.
"I would guess that most governors, maybe all, I don't know, will not seek a waiver, and in that case my amendment just covers something if maybe it happens," Upton said at the House Rules Committee meeting last night. If the money isn't enough, Upton said he'll fight for more.