GOP senators say tough report complicates health care bill

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently projected that the revised legislation would result in 23 million more uninsured Americans over a decade (2017-2026) but would cut the deficit by $119 billion. The score does not take into account the additional $610 billion President Trump proposes to cut from Medicaid in the fiscal year 2018 budget The White House released on Tuesday.

The House leaves out Senate budget provisions to cut funding for the Department of Public Instruction by 25 percent and the University of North Carolina law school by 30 percent.

Among independent voters, a key bloc, only 17 percent are more likely to support an elected official who backs the healthcare plan, while 41 percent are less likely.

This is despite the fact that a Congressional Budget Office report issued earlier this week found that these waivers could make it impossible for some sick people to purchase any health coverage due to higher premiums. It reflects poorly on political leadership that few Americans expect that to happen. It would replace Obama's tax subsidies for health insurance consumers, based largely on income and premiums, with GOP tax credits geared more to people's ages. "While CBO projections on enrollment numbers remain in doubt, it's clear that the MacArthur Amendment will bring down premiums and make health care more affordable". According to the CBO, a 64-year-old with $26,500 in annual income would be charged $21,000 in health care premiums and receive $4,900 in tax credits. In essence, insurance companies would entice healthy people out of the community-rated market-which mandates that everyone pay the same rate, with no differences based on health status-by offering plans with cheaper premiums. -New Jersey, that would allow states to apply for a waiver from two significant requirements. 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.

With "Obamacare", Democrats set out to get more people insured, but they also wanted to bolster the underlying coverage by making it illegal for insurers to turn away those with medical problems, requiring a broad range of standard benefits, and establishing a baseline of financial protection.

Republicans had one top priority for their health care bill: it had to lower insurance premiums.

Instead of addressing the future number of uninsured Americans under the Republican plan, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) chose to focus Wednesday on the CBO's estimate that premiums would fall under the AHCA.

According to the CBO, the current Obamacare system would result in "sufficient demand for insurance by enough people, including people with low health care expenditures, for the market to be stable in most areas". "People living in states modifying [essential health benefits] who used services or benefits no longer included in the EHBs would experience substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care or would choose to forgo the services", the CBO concluded.

Senate Republicans have been holding private meetings to narrow differences and produce their own health care package. Said Price: "The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare's effect on cost and coverage, and they are wrong now".

- The Associated Press contributed to this article.

  • Zachary Reyes