Democrats use CBO report to attack Republicans' health care bill

The CBO released its report on Wednesday, and now we know why the GOP was in such a hurry to move its version of health care reform.

McCain said numerous tie-ups on the bill are a result of deep divisions between Republicans within the U.S. Senate. They claim it will have a significant improvement to what is now in the House. Patients' premiums would be determined by everything from how old they are to where they live, whether they have a preexisting medical condition, and how their individual states decide to handle the new law.

Donald Trump loves calling people "losers" so much that he's backing a health care plan that would put tens of millions of Americans on the losing side of the ledger. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under the PPACA would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026.

In a purely financial sense, the AHCA would decrease the deficit by approximately 350 Billion dollars over 10 years while at the same time reducing taxes by nearly a trillion dollars for the wealthiest Americans over the same period.

"They rushed the bill to the floor without a committee and limited amendments, and of course it was voted on in direct contradiction of their promises", he says.

"The questions that need to be addressed are what do those premiums buy, and what other costs besides premiums do consumers pay?" Under the AHCA, a few million of those people would use tax credits to purchase policies that would not cover major medical risks.

The CBO and the JCT anticipate that most healthy people applying for insurance in the nongroup market in those states would be able to choose between premiums based on their own expected health care costs (medically underwritten premiums) and premiums based on the average health care costs for people who share the same age and smoking status and who reside in the same geographic area (community-rated premiums).

But the House bill may not get far. Those two "Obamacare" changes made coverage more robust, but also increased the cost. It did not guess which states might do that, but the report says that one-sixth of the population could be subject to that instability. That's $1 trillion to be extracted from families like yours, through the loss of premium subsidies, rate hikes for "pre-existing conditions" (crushing for some), reduced coverage (for many) or even complete loss of health care (for tens of millions).

Obamacare tax provisions being revoked would shift the benefits of this legislation from the poor to the rich and the old to the young, although exact numbers are not known.

Reaction to the new estimate fell mostly along predictable party lines. The liberal-leaning Urban Institute said the analysis offered nothing new, calling the House Republican bill a "tax bill paired with Medicaid cuts" to benefit the richest households in the country.

But the reaction was not completely partisan. Sen.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on May 24 told Reuters that he sees no path right now to getting the 50 votes needed to pass the American Health Care Act, offering an example of the rough road ahead for ACA repeal and replace in the upper chamber.

"When the ACA was passed, insurance companies could no longer dictate whether or not I would receive the care I needed", said Melissa Schmidbauer, who has Crohn's Disease.

Portman hasn't given any detailed statements about the bill following the release of the CBO score but seemed to nod to the fact the Senate will rework the legislation.

  • Larry Hoffman