CBO: Republicans' AHCA Would Leave 23 Million More Uninsured

Alex Brandon  AP
Alex Brandon AP
Author

25 May, 2017

Health care legislation passed by House Republicans earlier this month would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over the next 10 years.

The new CBO report will serve as an important report card for Senate Republicans as they deliberate over their own version of the health care bill.

However, the coverage they get under the GOP law will be less comprehensive than they have now. At first, moderate Republicans balked at the last-minute addition of the waiver option to the legislation, as it threatened protections for people with pre-existing conditions.Many came back on when an additional $8 billion over 10 years was added to a $100 billion-plus fund for states to set up high risk pools and other programs for high-cost individuals.

The report also shed some light into how the House GOP bill, titled the American Health Care Act, would change the nation's individual health insurance market.

The original CBO estimate for the American Health Care Act predicted 24 million would be uninsured by 2026.

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke to Reuters ahead of the release of the CBO score about the challenges in moving a health bill through his chamber. "All of this to give a GOP tax cut to the wealthiest".

The analysis says that under the bill, premiums would vary significantly according to health status, but that "less healthy people would face extremely high premiums" despite provisions in the bill created to reduce them.

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'The CBO has a long track record of being way, way off in its modeling, with predictions often differing drastically from what actually happens, ' noted Michael Reed, the research director and deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee.

Democrats have hammered Republicans over the American Health Care Act, and the Wednesday report only fanned the flames. By choosing the former, people who are healthier than average would be able to purchase nongroup insurance with relatively low premiums. So the House will not have to vote on it again-at least until (if ever) the Senate passes something and the House has to vote on a final, final version.

Democrats pounced on the new report moments after it was released.

"Over time, it would become more hard for less healthy people (including people with preexisting medical conditions) in those states to purchase insurance because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly", CBO said.

According to the report, approximately 23 million Americans who would be insured under Obamacare would not be covered in 2026 under the recently passed House plan.

The agency has already issued two reports on earlier versions of the GOP health care bill, but lawmakers continued to make changes up until the last minute to secure enough votes for passage.


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