Health

CBO: 23 Million More Uninsured Americans Under GOP Bill

| by Michael Allen

A report by the Congressional Budget Office released on May 24 found that the Republican health care bill would lead to 23 million more Americans not having health insurance coverage by 2026.

According to CNBC, the CBO said there would be 51 million total uninsured Americans by 2026 under the Republican bill, the American Health Care Act, compared to 28 million uninsured under the currently existing Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Most of the people losing coverage would be those on Medicaid, which covers low-income Americans, and those with private health care plans.

In 2020, premiums could undergo changes because the Republican bill would allow states to get waivers to allow insurance companies to charge sick people more for their pre-existing conditions, according to the CBO:

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In addition, premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums, despite the additional funding that would be available under H.R. 1628 to help reduce premiums.

Over time, it would become more difficult for less healthy people (including people with preexisting medical conditions) in those states to purchase insurance because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly.

The CBO also said that "out-of-pocket spending on maternity care and mental health and substance abuse services could increase by thousands of dollars," reports The New York Times.

CNBC notes that elderly people could pay up to 10 times more for their insurance premiums than younger people, and more than nine times than premium prices under Obamacare, per the CBO report.

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The CBO report predicted that individual insurance markets would "start to become unstable" in parts of the country -- one-sixth of the U.S. population -- because of the Republican bill.

The GOP-controlled House refused to wait for the CBO's analysis when it passed the bill on May 4; the Senate has not voted on its version.

Dr. Andrew Gurman, president of the American Medical Association, noted that poor Americans would be hurt the most under the Republican bill:

Today's estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show that last-minute changes to the AHCA made by the House offered no real improvements. Millions of Americans will become uninsured -- with low-income families on Medicaid being hit the hardest.

We urge the Senate to ensure that any changes made to current law do not cause Americans to lose access to affordable, meaningful health insurance coverage.

The White House dismissed the CBO's report, notes Fox News:

History has proven the CBO to be totally incapable of accurately predicting how health care legislation will impact health insurance coverage. What’s more alarming is yesterday’s (Department of Health and Human Services) report ... showing that average individual market premiums more than doubled since 2013.

Sources: CNBC, The New York TimesFox News / Photo credit: White House/Wikimedia Commons

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