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The GOP's big problem: Lost health coverage

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The warning signs are becoming inescapable for Republicans: Their most likely Obamacare replacement plans are getting terrible estimates on how many people they'll cover. Republicans have been pretty open that they're not trying to compete with Democrats on enrollment numbers — they just want to make sure everyone has access to coverage if they want it. But now the consequences are becoming more real.

  • This weekend, Caitlin Owens reported that a leaked presentation to the National Governors Association warned of massive coverage losses under a standard GOP proposal — and states could lose anywhere between 65 and 80 percent of their federal health care funding.
  • The Washington Post reported that the Congressional Budget Office believes the GOP's new, age-based tax credits "would cost the government a lot of money and would enable relatively few additional Americans to get insurance."

Why it matters: The danger isn't just that Democrats will tear them apart if they don't get better coverage numbers. Republican governors are also starting to sound the alarm. "We've had 29,000 Alaskans that now receive health care" because of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said at the governors' meeting. Ohio Gov. John Kasich promised to "stand up for the people wouldn't have the coverage if they don't get this thing right."

Not the best setup for Trump's meetings with the governors this morning and health insurance executives later today. On the bright side, Jonathan Swan reports that the Trump administration and House Republicans are narrowing their differences on a replacement — though the Post reminds us that there's always a chance that Trump will veer off in some other direction, as he almost did after talking with Kasich.

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