WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office will still release a full analysis of a proposal from four Republican senators that would overhaul the health care system, according to one of the bill’s main sponsors.

During an interview for Tuesday’s CQ Roll Call Big Story Podcast, Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said a full score from the nonpartisan budget office is still expected. He believes that report could help dispel some of the opposition to the legislation.

“Even that will take some understanding,” he said.

Cassidy took particular issue with media reports that said the legislation would drastically gut Medicaid.

While CBO said that enrollment in the entitlement program would be “substantially lower” as a result of the bill, loss in health coverage could be offset from states utilizing the block grant funding model to implement systems similar to the health law’s Medicaid expansion, according to the Louisiana Republican.

Cassidy, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Dean Heller of Nevada, introduced legislation last month that would, among other things, essentially turn all federal funding for the health law into a massive block grant to the states.

Senate Republicans made a last-ditch attempt to try to vote on that proposal last week before the fast-track budget reconciliation procedure for fiscal 2017 expired at the end of September.

Cassidy and Graham ultimately announced after the weekly GOP policy lunch that the chamber would not hold a vote on their bill. They vowed, however, to continue to build upon it with the anticipation it could come up for a vote again in the coming months.

The budget office issued a preliminary report on a version of the legislation last week, but had said a full analysis of it could take weeks, prompting outrage from Democrats.

—CQ-Roll Call


Weekend violence in Chicago leaves 32 shot, 4 fatally

CHICAGO — At least 32 people were shot over the weekend, including a man killed along the Chicago River on the North Side and a 13-year-old boy wounded while riding his bike in Little Village on the West Side, according to police.

Between Friday afternoon and early Monday, at least four people were killed and 28 others wounded, police said.

The man killed along the Chicago River was found around 12:15 a.m. Sunday on a sidewalk in the North Park neighborhood, police said.

The boy was shot in the arm about 2:40 p.m. Saturday when a gunman got out of a light-colored vehicle and fired, police said. He was taken by ambulance to Stroger Hospital, where he was listed in good condition, police said.

The weekend violence brings to at least 2,877 the number of people shot in Chicago this year, down about 400 from this time last year. There have been at least 527 homicides, about 50 fewer than this time last year, when gun violence hit levels not seen in two decades, according to data kept by the Chicago Tribune.

Shootings and homicides remain much higher than other recent years, according to the data.

Over the weekend, the Chicago Police Department announced it is increasing its crime-fighting technology, including expanding its gunshot detection software into six more patrol districts.

—Chicago Tribune


No evidence of shooting at USC after lockdown, search, LAPD says

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police said they found no evidence of a shooting on the University of Southern California campus Monday after reports of gunfire prompted a lockdown and a huge LAPD response.

“No danger to community,” the LAPD said on Twitter after completing a search of campus buildings.

It’s unclear what prompted the shooting report. LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar said police were seeking a suspect in the area but did not disclose details.

Some shelter-in-place alerts remained in effect on parts of the campus, but university officials said the USC Village is open again.

Soon after the reports surfaced, a police helicopter circled over the campus and students sitting outside a campus food court were moved inside. On social media, some students and employees said they were sheltering in place inside classrooms and offices.

—Los Angeles Times


New storm could take shape off Florida coast

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — An area of storms and clouds near the northwestern Caribbean Sea could become this hurricane season’s next tropical depression, forecasters say.

And if it forms, it’s expected to head north into the southern Gulf of Mexico — in the general vicinity of Southern Florida.

The patch of rough weather, depicted as a yellow blob on the National Hurricane Center’s forecast map, is centered over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula — the part of the country that hooks north toward the Gulf Mexico.

The disturbance has a less than 40 percent chance of development.

October can be an active month for hurricanes and major storms, as seen with Matthew last year, Sandy in 2012, and Wilma in 2005, among others over the years. Experts have said that given how busy this hurricane season has been so far, they don’t expect October to be much different than the previous several months.

The high level of action in the tropics this year is a result of warm surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico combined with low adverse winds.

These two conditions make for a very hospitable atmosphere for the formation of tropical depressions, storms and hurricanes.

—Sun Sentinel

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.