Trumpcare Would Cost 23 Million Americans Their Health Coverage, Says CBO
May 25, 2017, 01:59
The report from the Congressional Budget Office also said federal deficits would fall by US$119 billion between 2017 and 2026 under the bill, which was approved this month by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.
The GOP legislation would steer people with costly medical conditions - and who haven't maintained continuous individual coverage - into the high-risk pools in order to lower premiums for others. "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".
This estimate of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) projects that 1 million fewer people would lose their health insurance over that period than had been previously estimated when the CBO scored earlier versions of the bill. Some 14 million fewer people would qualify for Medicaid in 2026, the same number as in CBO's original assessment.
About one-sixth of the United States population, for example, resides in states that would obtain waivers to let them change requirements on health benefits and ratings used to set premiums, CBO said.
The House passed the bill narrowly after making some last-minute changes on May 4. The CBO also found that an amendment in the House bill would over time block some unhealthy people from buying insurance. The more one looks at the bill, the more one sees it "succeeds" in only one regard - giving big tax cuts to the very rich. Democrats are going to have a field day with this.
Republicans in Congress have downplayed the importance of these predictions, saying that the bill offers consumers more choices, and reiterating the common refrain that the ACA is failing.
House Speaker Paul Ryan delayed sending the bill to the Senate before the CBO report was released, fearing it wouldn't meet Senate guidelines for reconciliation, the legislative procedure that allows for passage of a bill with a simple majority.
Congressional estimates show that the tax cuts in the House Republicans' health care package have shrunk by $69 billion. "The report makes clear Trumpcare would be a cancer on the American healthcare system", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said at a news conference. "They've said that many more people would be insured than are actually insured".
It gets worse. The new report that because the Republican proposal guts protections for essential-health benefits, people living in effected states "would experience substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care or would choose to forgo the services".
According to the report, 23 million would lose health insurance under the House plan.
It was the budget office's first analysis of the bill that passed the House May 4 with only GOP votes.
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