From the Memo:

Rep. Tom Reed may have conceded Tuesday that the Congressional Budget Office’s projections that less people will be insured under the American Health Care Act makes sense, but the Southern Tier Republican certainly didn’t agree with every assertion in last week’s report.

Reed said when the CBO stated the legislation would adversely affect sick Americans more than healthy ones, it made flawed assumptions.

“What they’re doing is they’re saying in that hypothetical situation where a waiver is granted to a state, that there could be a potential adverse impact on such an individual. That’s a lot of assumptions. That’s a lot of hypothetical,” he said.

Reed noted it’s been widely reported that states could apply to waive requirements that protect patients with preexisting conditions from paying higher premiums under the AHCA. Lost in that reporting and in the CBO, Reed believes, is the fact those states would have to prove to the federal government that they have a plan to provide better care to their residents than the federal health care regulations would provide.

In New York, in particular, Reed said the waiver component of the bill is essentially a moot point.

“New York State won’t be a waiver state,” he said “I’m very confident of that.”

When further pressed though, Reed admitted proposed massive cuts to the Medicaid system would have an impact on his home state. The Governor’s Office said the AHCA would cut $4.7 billion from New York’s Medicaid budget – on top of the costs the Collins-Faso Amendment would transfer from the county to the state.

Reed noted, of course, raising taxes to make up for the lost revenue from the federal government is an option but he doesn’t believe state lawmakers would do that to constituents already facing a heavy burden. Instead, he hopes legislators would earnestly look at making cuts and reforming the health care system.

“At the end of the day, we’re not passing the buck to the state but we’re just saying, look at, we’ll be a partner but we’ve got to be a partner that’s doing things in an innovative way, a different way that’s rewarding good outcomes and improving people’s quality of life,” he said.

“I don’t want to tell them one or the other. I want to work with them as partners and say let’s work together.