CBO: 23 million fewer Americans insured under House GOP bill

The GOP health care bill could affect some insurance coverage people get through their employers. Getty Images

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Springfield) issued the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office's released its analysis of House Republicans' bill to repeal Americans' health care, which estimates that 23 million people would lose coverage by 2026.

The bill still contains nearly $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy.

The Congressional Budget Office says the health care bill Republicans pushed through the House this month would leave 23 million additional people uninsured in 2026, compared with former President Barack Obama's health care law. "This CBO report again confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit".

About one-sixth of the population live in states that would opt to make major changes to their insurance regulation, lowering premiums for the young and healthy, but likely leaving numerous sick unable to afford coverage because their rates would continue to escalate.

The CBO concluded that the $8 billion would be woefully insufficient to cover the expected large premium increases. Roughly half of people would live states that did not seek any waivers, and their premiums would be 4 percent lower than under current law in 2026, according to the CBO's projections.

In contrast, the uninsured rate in 2026 would be around 10 percent under Obamacare, the CBO reports. In 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured if the bill became law.

The act could make obtaining healthcare coverage prohibitively expensive for some sicker Americans, the CBO found. The report says that is partly because insurance on average would cover less of people's health care costs.




One challenge the CBO faced in creating these estimates was figuring out how many states would get those waivers.

In the states that don't request waivers, average premiums would be about 4% lower than under Obamacare.

'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. In states that waive that mandate, consumers would see "substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care or would choose to forgo the services", according to the report.

No Democrats voted for the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and they slammed their Republican counterparts for voting on the legislation before the analysis was completed.

The CBO also found the bill would reduce deficits by $119 billion compared with Obamacare. "They're trying to predict things 10 years out in advance".

Dozens of advocacy organizations and health care groups like AARP, the American Diabetes Association and American Medical Association oppose the measure. Cutbacks in subsidies for individual health insurance would likewise help cut $276 billion.

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