The CBO numbers are simply devastating to the Republican claim that people would not lose their health insurance under the Obamacare replacement.
The CBO score on the American Health Care Act was even worse than many expected:
CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.
Later, following additional changes to subsidies for insurance purchased in the nongroup market and to the Medicaid program, the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026. The reductions in insurance coverage between 2018 and 2026 would stem in large part from changes in Medicaid enrollment—because some states would discontinue their expansion of eligibility, some states that would have expanded eligibility in the future would choose not to do so, and per-enrollee spending in the program would be capped. In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
The CBO also found that Trumpcare saves money by throwing people off of Obamacare subsidies and Medicaid. Premium increases will be age specific, so while a healthy younger person may pay less, an older person will pay more.
No one is going to care if the law impacts the deficit or not. The big number that everyone is going to be talking about is the 24 million people who are going to lose their coverage under Trumpcare. Republicans have been trying to tamp down expectations on the CBO estimate for days, but with 24 million people set to lose their health care, Trumpcare may never become law.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association