American Health Care Act CBO Report: “52 Million People Would Be Uninsured”

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that as many as 24 million more people could be uninsured and the federal budget could decrease by over $300 billion over the next ten years under the GOP healthcare bill.

The details of the report came in a highly-anticipated report highlighting the possible impacts of the American Health Care Act, the Republican party’s plan to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

The report found the effects of the American Health Care Act on a list of different topics including how many people are covered, how the federal deficit will work out, and how premiums will be impacted by the new health care plans.

Here’s a breakdown of the major findings.

14 million people would be uninsured under the new law in 2018. The number will then increase to 24 million by 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,” the CBO said in their report.

“In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.”

Fewer people would get insurance from their employers

The report estimated that with penalties associated without having insurance, fewer Americans would sign up for coverage through their job. As a result, 2 million fewer people would choose not to have insurance in the next three years and by 2026 7 million people will elect not to have insurance.

“Part of that net reduction in employment-based coverage would occur because fewer employees would take up the offer of such coverage in the absence of the individual mandate penalties,” the CBO report said.

“In addition, CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] expect that, over time, fewer employers would offer health insurance to their workers.”

Federal deficit will decrease

The CBO estimated that the expenses would decrease the federal deficit by $337 billion over the next 10 years. In addition, approximately $880 billion would be cut from due to the decrease in funding for Medicaid expansion and decreases in tax credits.

Premiums will increase

People getting coverage outside of their employer will not change. “In CBO and JCT’s assessment, however, the non-group market would probably be stable in most areas under either current law or the legislation,” the report said.

That said, premiums in the individual market are expected to increase in 2018 and 2019 before decreasing due to lower enrollment.

Critics of the Republican health care plan

Many of the critics of the new healthcare plan pointed that the CBO score is a way to understand the impact of the AHCA on the federal budget and the US healthcare system. But, in a statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that it proved the healthcare plan would work by focusing on the decrease in premiums.

“I recognize and appreciate concerns about making sure people have access to coverage. Under Obamacare, we have seen how government-mandated coverage does not equal access to care, and now the law is collapsing,” Paul Ryan said.

“Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage. It is about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford. When people have more choices, costs go down. That’s what this report shows. And, as we have long said, there will be a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.”

That said, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer focused on the number of people who will become uninsured. “The CBO’s estimate makes clear that Trumpcare will cause serious harm to millions of American families,” Schumer said. “Tens of millions will lose their coverage, and millions more, particularly seniors, will have to pay more for healthcare. The CBO score shows just how empty the president’s promises,  that everyone will be covered and costs will go down, have been. This should be a looming stop sign for the Republicans repeal effort.”