President Donald Trump talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017, after the House pushed through a health care bill. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. is at left, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas is at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Trump celebrates with House GOP after health bill passes
04:56 - Source: CNN

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As a practical political concern, this photo was not a good idea

CBO projects 23 million Americans who might otherwise be covered would lose their health insurance

CNN  — 

Everyone looks so happy.

On the same day they voted to shred Obamacare and replace it with the American Health Care Act, House Republicans made their way to the White House for a little celebration.

Like Super Bowl or World Series winners, they gathered with President Donald Trump for some back-slapping and a photo op in the Rose Garden. There was a certain logic to it. After years of railing against Obamacare and months of internal squabbling over what to replace it with, the GOP was not passing up a victory lap (even if it was really only at about the quarter pole).

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Turns out, at least as a practical political concern, this was not a good idea.

The new score out from the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday projects that, if the new iteration of the bill becomes law, 23 million Americans who might otherwise be covered would lose their health insurance over the next decade.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that under new version of the bill, according to the CBO report, even the positive notes – fewer people losing coverage, slightly lower premiums for some – are mostly pegged to the fact that “the insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health costs.”

So what’s the main difference between now and a few months ago, when Republicans were getting slammed (at town halls, among other places) over a bill they would never actually bring up for a vote?

Well, the math is still bad. And the bill actually gives Democrats more to chew at ahead of the 2018 midterms. But the main thing is this: those pictures – images of Republicans who supported this unpopular legislation celebrating it with the historically unpopular President who made it his priority.

Whether or not it was good form, the House Democrats’ post-vote sing-along is looking more and more prescient.