Health care bill would drive up premiums for millions, CBO finds


Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the chamber's healthcare plan would be "significantly different" from the House bill.

Senators from both parties have already indicated they're prepared to write their own health care bill, apparently well-aware that what the House is sending over is simply bad lawmaking. President Donald Trump, who made replacing Obamacare a key campaign promise in 2016, and other Republicans say it is too costly and creates unwarranted government interference in health care decisions. It also found that waiving essential health benefits, or rules determining what insurers must cover, could lead to an extra costs of $1,000 per month for maternity care.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME said the CBO score showed the plan did not go far enough to expand coverage and would hurt older Americans.

"Community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive non group health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all", reads the report. The CBO score raises the stakes for Republican senators now working on their own version of the legislation. "Without health insurance, people must often choose between putting food on the table and receiving the medical care they need". That would require retaining some of about $800 billion in Affordable Care Act taxes that the House measure repeals, or finding other cost savings in the federal budget.

In Kentucky, nearly half a million people gained health insurance via the law - majority through the state's expansion of Medicaid to people making around $15,000. Over half of those becoming uninsured, 14 million people, would come from the bill's $834 billion in cuts over 10 years to Medicaid, which provides health coverage to poor and disabled people. Citing markets where insurers have left or sought huge premium increases, Republicans have repeatedly said the statute must be dismantled because it is in a death spiral. However, some states could apply for waivers that would allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for those individuals.

Based on projected premiums for single policyholders under the AHCA (before any tax credits were applied), compared those with the premiums projected under the ACA for policies purchased in the individual market, the AHCA, as passed by the House, would tend to increase such premiums before 2020 (as compared to the ACA) by an average of about 20 percent in 2018 and 5 percent in 2019.

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Republican senators have been meeting for weeks to hash out their differences on health care, of which there are many. "We know that. I mean, we don't have any margin", Sen.

"You can make insurance more affordable for those who are younger, that's important", Mr. Cassidy said.

"Congress's focus must be to lower premiums with coverage which passes the Jimmy Kimmel Test".

The bill is in the Senate, where it will likely undergo major changes and opposition from New York's senators. Now that the CBO score is out, it could affect the progress of the bill moving forward in the Senate. There's enough there to give everyone pause, particularly members of the Senate who will next take up the AHCA.

Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told ABC News in an earlier interview that without protection from higher premiums, people with pre-existing conditions would likely be priced out of coverage.

"High-risk pools have not had a stellar record", said Sen.