Trumpcare would cost 24 million their coverage, says CBO
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 15, 2017,
Mar 15, 2017, 17:55
The Congressional Budget Office projects in a decade's time that premiums in the so-called nongroup market (that is, health insurance not provided by an employer) would be 20% to 25% lower for a 21-year-old, and 8% to 10% lower for a 40-year-old, but 20% to 25% higher for a 64-year-old. The decline would be due to several factors, like government grants, the elimination of industry quotas and and a younger mix of enrollees, the CBO report said. Doctors groups and patient advocates said the bill must be abandoned. In fact, they think CBO is a little too optimistic.
Put into raw numbers, here's how the growth in the number of uninsured looks: In 2018, the number of uninsured would be 14 million larger under the Republican bill than under Obamacare.
Democrats say the nonpartisan CBO's score is evidence that the GOP legislation will provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich while yanking health coverage from the poor. President Donald Trump famously promised "insurance for everybody" before taking office. It drew ire from Democrats and Republicans alike, albeit mostly for different reasons.
Also, the Republicans would eliminate the Medicaid entitlement and give states a fixed amount of money, forcing them to either cut services or spend their own funds as costs rise. This would bring the total number of uninsured individuals up to 52 million, which is significantly higher than the 28 million under the Affordable Care Act.
"The CBO estimate that millions of Americans could lose their health insurance coverage if the House bill were to become law is cause for alarm", she said in a statement Monday.
The Republican leadership says their bill will repeal the individual mandate, although Cato's Michael Cannon says that the Ryan bill creates "the functional equivalent of Obamacare's individual mandate".
Craig Garthwaite, director of the healthcare programme at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, said the CBO estimates made it harder for Republicans to sell their proposal.
The House Republican legislation would also roll back an expansion of Medicaid insurance for the poor, and replace Obamacare's income-based subsidies with a system of fixed tax credits to help people buy private insurance on the open market. But only 10.4 million were signed up for these plans by the middle of past year, according to Department of Health and Human Services data.
While the number of uninsured Americans would immediately climb, the trajectory for premiums is more complicated.
House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the report online, saying it proved Trumpcare would "lower premiums & improve access to quality, affordable care". "Do you know what blowing ObamaCare does?"
But conservative Republicans said they could not support the plan without significant changes.
To shore up House conservative votes, the White House is working with lawmakers on a so-called "manager's amendment" to alleviate some of their concerns that the law doesn't go far enough to repeal ObamaCare. "That's what we told them", Jordan told Fox News Sunday. "As drafted, the House bill would not pass the Senate".