CBO: 23 Million More Uninsured Under House GOP O'Care Repeal Bill
01:55, May 25, 2017
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"The CBO score proves what we already knew: This latest version of Trumpcare is still a tax break for the very wealthy disguised as "care" for American families", said Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.). The House bill will serve as a "foundation" for the Senate measure, with some of the same themes incorporated, said Sen. "We're going have to start putting things on paper because we need to get it voted on", he told reporters. The Senate is unlikely to be able to adopt much of the House version because of the report's finding that it would result in massive coverage losses.
President Trump invited House Republicans to the White House to celebrate their passage of the American Health Care Act. The CBO estimates that 14 million people who are now be covered would be uninsured as soon as the House plan were to be signed into law.
'The CBO has a long track record of being way, way off in its modeling, with predictions often differing drastically from what actually happens, ' noted Michael Reed, the research director and deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee.
While healthier individuals would be able to buy low-priced insurance as a result of those waivers, those with pre-existing conditions "would ultimately be unable" to buy insurance with benefits and premiums comparable to what they now have, "if they could purchase it at all".
Separately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke to Reuters ahead of the release of the CBO score about the challenges in moving a health bill through his chamber.
That number is 1 million fewer than an analysis of a March draft version of the bill that was predicted to leave 24 million fewer people with health insurance than the current law would cover.
In states that obtained those waivers, it would mean lower premiums for people buying individual insurance.
The CBO is a nonpartisan agency that analyses how proposed bills could impact the federal budget and the economy. Insurers in these states would be allowed to charge higher premiums to those with pre-existing conditions if they let their coverage lapse.
The bill still contains nearly $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy.
Another amendment allocates an additional $8 billion over five years to help people with pre-existing conditions cover medical costs but the CBO said it would not significantly help sick people pay their premiums.
GOP conservatives and moderates are divided ideologically in the Senate just as they were in the House, where the repeal and replace bill squeaked by. Premiums would rise by an average of about 20 percent in 2018, CBO said.
Democrats pounced on the new report moments after it was released.
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