Congressional analysis confirms fears about GOP health bill

Yesterday, an independent congressional agency told by 2016 about 23 million people would misplace health insurance under Obamacare cancellation and a new policy to be in place under American Health Care Act.

Democrats also blasted the bill and said the CBO report proved it would be catastrophic for millions of people who would lose health insurance. That amount is $32 billion less than the estimated net savings for the version of H.R. 1628 that was posted on the website of the House Committee on Rules on March 22, 2017, incorporating manager's amendments 4, 5, 24, and 25. The current bill makes changes around the edges; the cruelty is pretty much the same.

Additionally, if you are a person with pre-existing conditions and you don't get health insurance through an employer, the CBO suggests the AHCA could strip protections away from you in certain USA states. In states that made moderate changes to their markets, representing about one-third of the USA population, premiums would fall 20 percent on average. When the CBO first scored the AHCA, it said the plan would save $337 billion over 10 years.

The analysis also said Medicaid enrollment would decline. There's not much change on enrollment projections at all between the two scores.

"It does not destabilize markets when you cover people with pre-existing conditions on the much broader shoulders of the taxpayer, and then you allow the rest of people to have lower premiums and an insurance market that actually works for them", MacArthur added.

CBO found premiums would likely be lower in states that received the waivers, but not across the board.

By 2026 average costs for individuals buying insurance will start to go down, but that's largely because the plans people receive will cover far fewer medical issues, the CBO writes: "Overall, average premiums in the nongroup market would be roughly 20 percent lower in 2026 than under current law, primarily because, on average, insurance policies would provide fewer benefits". This limits could potentially return even for large employer-based plans, which the CBO noted can base their benefits package on any state's regulations.

The remaining half of the country would live in areas that would retain Obamacare's protections. Under the AHCA that would jump to between $13,600 and $16,100 per year depending on whether state waivers are exercised.

As Trump and Republican leaders sought to bring wavering lawmakers on board with the House bill, they added a controversial last-minute amendment that would give states leeway to drop an Obamacare requirement that forces insurers to charge sick and healthy people the same insurance rates.

"The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026", the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said in a highly-anticipated report.

That is because some states would seek waivers from health-care market rules that would allow healthy people to segregate themselves in their own affordable risk pool, leaving sicker people with skyrocketing costs. But less healthy Americans in those states could face "extremely high premiums", the report said.

While average premiums would fall under the AHCA, the catch is that most of the benefits would go to younger, healthier individuals.

The CBO explained that premiums would be lower 'because the insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health care costs'.

"The President and House leadership are continuing to push for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which is creating uncertainty and instability in the health care system". Services or benefits likely to be excluded from the EHBs in some states include maternity care, mental health and substance abuse benefits, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and pediatric dental benefits. It said consumers' out-of-pocket costs for those services "could increase by thousands of dollars in a given year for the (patients) who use those services". But the way it does that is essentially by making health insurance unaffordable for sicker Americans.

More than 170,000 people in West Virginia gained access to Medicaid when it was expanded.

  • Zachary Reyes