Senate GOP's Dislike of AHCA Worsened by CBO Score
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 4:06
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.
So according to the lone United States House of Representative from the state of North Dakota, concern about how many people might lose coverage, whether premiums or deductibles will level off or decrease, or if Medicaid cuts affect the citizens that he is serving isn't as important as a "promise" of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
We've noted before that the House GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare is a travesty, given that Republicans have had seven years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act to put together their own health care package that actually is good for America.
CBO analysts looked at healthcare policy before Obamacare, in each state, and NY was already requiring insurance companies to cover childbirth and trying to protect older people and those with pre-existing conditions from paying more.
That was a knock on 11th-hour changes Republicans made in the bill to gain conservatives' votes by letting states get waivers to boost premiums on the ill and reduce coverage requirements.
"The AHCA is a historic first step toward putting people - not politics - back at the center of our health care system", Rep. Ron Estes, R-Wichita, said in a prepared statement.
Because that upward redistribution of money is politically unpopular, and literally deadly, House Republicans sought to camouflage the basic trade in which they are engaged - reducing access to health care in exchange for tax cuts for the wealthy.
The CBO says the Republican plan could lower premiums by 4 to 20 percent by 2026.
And in states that chose to waive the requirements for essential benefits, even people with insurance "would experience substantial increases in what they would spend on health care", because their policies might no longer cover expensive treatments like those for maternity care or mental health and substance abuse.
In Kentucky, nearly half a million people gained health insurance via the law - a lot of them through the state's expansion of Medicaid to people making around $15,000. But he does agree with the report that removing some of the Obamacare regulations on private markets will help premiums will go down.
The CBO says these Americans would over time "be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all".
Starting in 2020, however, average premiums would partly depend on waivers granted to states and on how those waivers were implemented, and partly on what share of the funding available from the Patient and State Stability Fund was applied to premium reduction. Nongroup enrollees are people who purchase health care individually versus through a group or employer.
The budget office said older people with lower income would disproportionately lose coverage.
"The more you can separate people out into another pool or out of the market, the more you can lower premiums", said Claxton.
"In 2016, the political ads they ran were all about rising premiums", said Blendon.