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GOP Healthcare Plan to Cost Less, Insure Millions Fewer — CBO

by Countable | 3.20.17

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) on Monday, adding fuel to the debate around the controversial healthcare law.

In the past, the CBO has been criticized for the accuracy of its estimates, including its projections for Obamacare which overestimated the number of people who would get health insurance coverage through the law’s exchanges by about 18 percent. It acknowledged that there’s a lot of uncertainty contained in this report based on how the federal government, states, insurers, employers, individuals and healthcare providers respond to the changes in law.

What does the estimate say?

Cost: The proposed legislation — known as the American Health Care Act — would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period, or about $33.7 billion per year. Spending would be reduced by $1.2 trillion over that period, or about $120 billion per year, while revenue to the government would fall by $883 billion through the repeal of taxes and fees imposed by Obamacare.

Health insurance coverage: In 2018, it’s projected that 14 million more people would be uninsured under the proposed legislation than under current law, because some individuals would opt to not buy insurance without the tax penalty imposed by Obamacare’s individual mandate. As a result of proposed changes in later years, the number of uninsured people relative to current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and 24 million in 2026, in part because of states discontinuing their expansion of Medicaid.

In total, 52 million people would be uninsured in 2026 under the proposed legislation, as opposed to 28 million people who wouldn’t have insurance that year based on current law.

Health insurance premiums: The CBO projects that health insurance premiums will increase until 2020, when they will begin to decrease. In 2018 and 2019, average premiums for an individual would be 15-20 percent higher than under current law because the repeal of the individual mandate to buy health insurance will lead to relatively fewer healthy enrollees.

Starting in 2020, premiums will become less expensive and by 2026 an individual’s average premiums will be 10 percent lower than they would be under current law. Grants to states that offset the costs of enrollees with high claims, eliminating the requirement for insurers to cover certain percentages of the cost of covered benefits, and a younger mix of enrollees would be contributing factors for the decrease in premiums.

What is the CBO?

The CBO was created in 1974 to provide Congress with independent, nonpartisan analysis regarding how proposed legislation would impact the budget through taxes and spending. It is staffed by experts in economics, public policy, and the tax code who consult with outside experts when it comes to certain aspects of the budget. The two congressional budget committees created the rules and regulations that govern the CBO’s operations.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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  • VSB
    03/14/2017
    ···

    I oppose the new Ryan care plan. The CBO is only saying what the AMA, Kaiser, AARP, AHA, and the ANA already said. 24 million people losing health care is unacceptable with the first 14 million people potentially losing it as early as 2018. I work in Medicaid and Medicaid and ACA recipients can go to any provider now. That isn't different. I think we should first test this out starting with one family to lose health care. Let's start with Paul Ryan, and then every republican and their families. Then let's see how that feels when they have to pay out of pocket for all health care expenses!. I am anxious to know. Many Republicans are seniors and their premiums would definitely be higher. President Trump obviously lied again! He had no intention of ensuring all Americans had access to affordable health care.

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  • Rj
    03/13/2017
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    My friends and I have never voted in midterm elections before but so help me god, we are counting the days now! If you pass this excuse for health care and replace the ACA with a bill that gives tax credits to people making over $200,000 while kicking 14-24 million people off of their current coverage under ACA, we will make it our mission for the next 603 days to be sure you lose your privilege of representing us. I'm descendent of Irish-German IMMIGRANTS so I'm stubborn AND organized.

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  • Jenniferande
    03/13/2017
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    Reject, at all costs, TrumpCare a/k/a Don'tCare! Millions will be left without insurance, Planned Parenthood will be defunded, seniors will suffer with outrageous premiums, only the rich will benefit. Reject, resist, and reject again!

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  • Lesley
    03/14/2017
    ···

    The divide between rich and poor keeps getting wider. If this plan passes, more and more people will need critical care instead of preventative - all of them poor. Do you want this on your conscience? Put yourself in the shoes of the poor for a day. THEN vote.

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  • Linda
    03/14/2017
    ···

    I'm a retired Healthcare executive and concerned about your plan. As it stands, millions of poor Americans will be forced to seek care from emergency rooms. Costs will rise and will be passed on to the insured. Millions of Americans will be sicker due to a lack of access to preventative care. What's the plan to prevent this from becoming a two tier system access for the insured and none for the poor?

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  • Xenologer
    03/14/2017
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    So I've seen the Ryancare numbers. The CBO estimated a loss of 52 million people from the pool of insured Americans. The pool needs to be as large as possible, not just for ethical reasons but because insurance is about sharing risk over as wide a population as possible. I know insurance is complicated, but maybe that's why these things are worth taking a little time and thought on? Really, this is a mess.

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  • Jun
    03/14/2017
    ···

    Capitalism shouldn't be in health care. The reality is that with this system people will lose their lives because of the greed of the few.

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  • Sophia
    03/15/2017
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    How about we don't build a ridiculous wall, and we save people's lives instead? Save the ACA.

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  • Chris
    03/13/2017
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    This bill does not fix anything. It does not benefit the people, the people are who you work for. This bill does not accomplish what we need to do. The insurance companies need government competition, not hand outs. As originally in the ACA but killed by the GOP, there needs to be an affordable government run, non profit health care alternative to the so called free market. Vote NO on Trump Care.

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  • James
    03/14/2017
    ···

    DO NOT REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE!!!! I REPEAT; DO NOT REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE

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  • Bobbie
    03/14/2017
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    Trump stated more than once that no one would loose their healthcare. The CBO analysts now say approximately 24 million will not be insured if the Ryan's plan is enacted. We can't let that happen. VOTE NO!

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  • Jane
    03/14/2017
    ···

    This is simply another attempt to erase every vestige of President Obama. And the absolute stupidity of it is that lawmakers don't appear to care that millions less will be covered. It rings of a line from Dicken's "A Christmas Carol," that says, "Well decrease the surplus population...". Apparently Scrooge is alive and well in the White House.

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  • Alexander
    03/13/2017
    ···

    There is the added cost of healthcare being provided to the uninsured...so we go back to the old ways where government pays for all those ER visits? Do hospitals bear the burden? What about lost revenue for small hospitals? Will they be forced to close due to lost revenue? Especially since rural communities are poorer and have a higher percentage of uninsured? That would reduce patient access to care, cost us good jobs, and increase costs to the government that I strongly suspect the CBO is not accounting for. Reform is needed, but this bill is bad. Bad for patients, bad for hospitals, and bad for American healthcare workers. Please do not let it pass.

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  • Barbara
    03/14/2017
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    This cut to Medicaid and it will affect Medicare is shameful. It. Will hurt poor, special needs, elderly and children. It is a disgrace and Paul Ryan should be slapped and he should be ashamed of himself Remember Paul Ryan You will be a senior someday too

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  • Wendy
    03/14/2017
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    Ok, The bottom line. If you do not care about your constituents and vote yes on this mess of a "health care plan" then you will be voted out of office. Simple,yes?

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  • Carol
    03/13/2017
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    I will gladly pay extra for everyone to have health insurance. You should not have to be rich I order to have health care.

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  • Linda
    03/14/2017
    ···

    I grew up in a military family. Healthcare for the whole family was a benefit. If anything went wrong you just went to the base hospital urgent care, saw whoever was available and got whatever treatment was needed. When I graduated from college I was on my own. I had no health insurance, no family doctor but fortunately I was healthy. Eventually I got a job that had healthcare benefits. After that I started making sure every job I got offered healthcare benefits. All of those benefits were mostly coverage for when things went wrong. Sometime, in the 80's-90's benefits providers started pushing preventive healthcare as a way to lower costs- suddenly I had a primary care physician that made sure I was getting wellness exams. During this time the cost of healthcare was beginning to skyrocket and what had been a benefit covered by my employer was now being "shared" with me. As I acquired conditions such as high blood pressure, pre-diabetes I began to worry about what would happen to my healthcare if I changed jobs. I did discover how expensive it was to continue healthcare when I was laid off (prohibitive). Mr. Ryan- there has NEVER been a time in my life when I did not want healthcare. I may have been too young and stupid to know I needed some kind of coverage plan but I still wanted healthcare to be available to me if I needed it. I have also gone through times in my life where I just hoped and prayed nothing went wrong because I knew I needed a coverage plan but I couldn't afford it. Now I am on Medicare and have been diagnosed with a life-threatening, chronic condition that is prohibitively expensive to treat. If I had to do this on my own I could expend all of my assets in about 3-6 months and that would be the end of me. Other major countries have figured out how to provide quality healthcare for their citizens without taking away individual freedoms and or seriously damaging pharmaceutical companies. There is no reason it can not be done in the USA. Use Medicare and the military hospital system as models. Change the mindset from health insurance to healthcare.

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  • Irene
    03/19/2017
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    Get rid of this despicable bill and it's despicable owner- Ryan, what a piece of crap he is!

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  • richardharrison
    03/14/2017
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    This non- plan is ignorant of the healthcare needs of the people it presumes to support and of the nature of insurance that requires as large a base pool as possible to lower economic risk. No major legitimate healthcare organisation supports this and there is no reason other than ideology for any member of congress to support it.

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  • Heather
    03/14/2017
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    This is not the way to treat the American people.

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