23 million fewer Americans insured under House GOP bill, says CBO

Olive Rios
May 25, 2017

McConnell, however, told Reuters on Wednesday he does not yet know how Republicans will have the necessary votes.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. arrives for a GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan congressional group which scores budgetary legislation, said that the AHCA as it is would reduce the cumulative federal deficit by $199m (£153m) over the period to 2026. The AHCA would reduce the deficit by cutting Medicaid by $884 billion and subsidies for individual health insurance by $276 billion.

A rider for maternity care might cost more than $1,000 a month, the CBO estimated.

Enacting the American Health Care Act would lead to a reduction of $119 billion in the deficit by 2026.

The House wants to pass AHCA under a process called budget reconciliation, which classifies their bill as a tax plan re-write instead of an actual health care bill - odd, perhaps, for a bill called the American Health Care Act.

That compares with 28 million under age 65 who would lack insurance that year under the current health law signed by President Barack Obama.

The new Republican health care bill approved by the US House of Representatives will leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 than under current law, a congressional forecast announced on Wednesday. He said the bill was written "by a small number of far-right Republicans" and was rushed to passage without adequate consideration. That program would face $884 billion in cuts.

The new estimates could give talking points to House Republicans, or to Democrats, who voted unanimously against that bill. In those that made no change, accounting for about half the population, the CBO projected, premiums would fall by 4 percent in 2026, with younger people seeing substantial drops but older people paying more. The Trump administration already has relied on the House bill's healthcare spending cuts in its proposed federal budget. Waiving these requirements, however, will allow insurers to offer significantly less comprehensive plans that push more risk onto individuals.

Much of the loss in coverage would be due to the Republican plan to shrink the eligibility for Medicaid; for many others-particularly those with preexisting conditions living in certain states-healthcare on the open marketplace would become unaffordable. However, it remains unclear how much, if any, good news the Senate Republicans can take away from the government report.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the report should be the "final nail in the coffin" in the Republican drive to end Obamacare.

The analysis also said Medicaid enrollment would decline. Those found that earlier versions of the House bill left 24 million additional people uninsured and drove up out-of-pocket costs for many seniors and others.

He sidestepped questions about how the report would impact the Senate Republicans' work to craft their own Obamacare repeal and replace bill, but said he had spoken to several senators about several provisions of the legislation.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its revised analysis of the also-revised American Health Care Act, the Republican replacement to the Affordable Care Act, and-can you believe it?-it doesn't seem to be a great plan!

“CBO continues to find that through our patient-focused bill, premiums will go down and that our reforms will help stabilize the market, ” said a statement from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and its health subcommittee chairman, Michael Burgess (R-Texas).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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