CBO analysis: Trumpcare leaves 23 million without coverage


The cost sharing assistance that makes health care affordable for millions of Americans is eliminated by the bill passed by House Republicans. The findings indicate that over the next ten years, 23 million Americans would lose insurance under the AHCA.

The report also complicates the job of Senate Republicans - some of whom already have doubts about the House bill - as they craft their own healthcare legislation.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not mention the budget office report.

"The CBO has still done nothing to address the inherent uncertainty involved in scoring large, complex pieces of health legislation by hiding large considerations behind opaque methodologies", Heritage said.

"The American Health Care Act would have a devastating impact on working families, driving many deeper into hunger and poverty", said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.

Here are some key facts and figures from the new CBO report on the American Health Care Act, the House-passed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Big league losers! A typical 64-year-old with an annual income of $26,500 would pay a net premium in 2026 that averages about $16,000 a year, compared with $1,700 under the Affordable Care Act. As written, the bill is expected to reduce the deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026.

The new provisions would allow states to permit insurance companies to increase premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions and waive the federal "essential health benefits" requirement. For the one-third of the nation where states would modestly reduce coverage requirements, average premiums would be about 20 percent lower, the analysts estimated.

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But premiums would fall overall, the report said, because policies would offer fewer benefits and sicker people would leave the market because they wouldn't be able to afford insurance.

It's not known if Florida would join states seeking a waiver of rules to let insurers charge sick people more - potentially lowering costs for healthy people - but CBO projected about a sixth of the US population would live in states doing so.

On the bright side, reports the CBO, "the number of people with health insurance would, by CBO and JCT's estimates, be slightly higher and average premiums for insurance purchased individually-that is, nongroup insurance-would be lower, in part because the insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health care costs". It's still bad news for the 23,000,000 people who will lose their health care coverage if the Senate approves a similar bill, of course, and there's lots of bad news in the CBO report for people who manage to hold on to their health insurance after the Republicans get through "repealing and replacing" Obamacare. "People living in states modifying the EHBs who used services or benefits no longer included in the EHBs would experience substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care or would choose to forgo the services". At the same time, under the AHCA insurers could charge older Americans premiums that are as much as five times higher than those paid by younger people.

And some people who need, for instance, expensive drugs could end up paying huge amounts out of pocket if states let insurance companies impose lifetime caps - now banned by Obamacare. In those states, healthy people with few medical expenses could purchase cheap, skimpy plans.

The Senate is signaling that the CBO score is another reason to work on a different plan. The CBO helpfully broke down how much insurance premiums would cost for people at two income levels - $26,500 and $68,200 annually - at three ages.

Excellent breakdown in the Wall Street Journal this morning about what we can describe (being only a tad hyperbolic) as the bombshell of a CBO report that landed last night.