CBO: Republicans' AHCA Would Leave 23 Million More Uninsured
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 5:46
The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan group of experts who analyze USA legislation, said the bill would reduce federal deficits by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026.
More on this as it develops. According to the CBO, the bill would decrease spending by $1,111 billion, but would have a $992 billion reduction in revenue. They'd be subject to such sharp premium increases to cover their medical conditions that, for many, coverage would be priced out of reach.
The CBO said markets for people to buy individual insurance plans could then become "unstable" in states that choose to waive the Obamacare requirements for coverage of pre-existing medical conditions and essential health benefits.
"The American Health Care Act is the worst legislation for women's health in a generation", said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement.
Those provisions included waivers states could get for insurers to raise premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions, and to ignore health benefits that must be covered under Obama's law.
- The CBO notes that the increase would be 20 percent in 2018 and 5 percent in 2019.
"In 2026, estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law", the Congressional Budget Office's report read.
The two earliest versions of the bill could not muster enough support for the House leadership to bring them to a vote on the floor. Likewise, some people with higher incomes could see substantially lower premiums under this bill.
Senators now working to craft their own bill to knock down most of the ACA will likely rely on the CBO analysis to guide their own plan.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) considered the report positive news.
In the weeks leading up to the House vote on May 4, two controversial amendments were added to the bill that ultimately helped secure its passage, including one that was added the day before the vote.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said he was convinced that the negotiations between Senate Republicans were using the House bill as a "framework" because they couldn't do a completely different bill than the House or else House conservatives would not approve the Senate version. Such states also could roll back the ACA requirement that insurers provide specific benefits. The report shows that so-called "Trumpcare" would cause 14 million people to lose health insurance next year and 23 million to lose it by 2026.
The CBO explained that premiums would be lower 'because the insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health care costs'.
Furthermore, states that allow insurers to drop so-called essential health benefits would face hikes of "thousands of dollars" a year for services including "maternity care, mental health and substance abuse benefits, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and pediatric dental benefits", the CBO predicted.
Under current law, the CBO wrote, the markets will be "stable in most areas" because lower-income Americans buying individual insurance will be shielded from rising Obamacare premiums, thanks to subsidies.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the score "devastating" and said that "House Republicans have tattooed themselves with a Trumpcare bill that means higher costs, 23 million hard-working Americans losing coverage, shredding key protections, a crushing age tax and stealing from Medicare". Simply put, high-risk pools, as with the new federal risk-sharing program, will require substantial funding, but the House bill does not provide anything close to that adequate funding.
Despite repeated claims from President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans that the Affordable Care Act is collapsing, the CBO specifically said that the market would continue to be stable in most areas under current law.