The CBO report found the revised GOP plan, which was approved earlier this month, would save $119 billion over ten years, and would result in 23 million fewer people having health insurance by 2026, than under Obamacare.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued its review of the current American Health Care Act proposal on Wednesday, saying it would leave 14 million more Americans uninsured next year than the ACA would have.
The CBO score is another step forward in the GOP's health care push, as AHCA will now go on to the Senate where Republican senators will take the CBO's analysis into account as they work to draft their own version of the health care bill in the coming weeks.
Dropped benefits, but lowered premiums?
"Congress" focus must be to lower premiums with coverage which passes the "Jimmy Kimmel Test.' The AHCA does not", Cassidy said, a reference to the now-viral monologue from ABC late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, in which he made an emotional plea for coverage of patients with pre-existing conditions. Instead he smarmily insists his plan would do that while also making health care affordable to everybody. "Just the opposite is happening", said Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar at the Institute. The health reform law capped enrollees' annual out-of-pocket spending and prevented insurers from placing financial limits on coverage. Most importantly, its methodology is relatively opaque, and ultimately includes an internal disagreement around whether or not lowering premiums leads to increased take-up in insurance coverage. By 2026, however, average premiums will be 20 percent lower than they are now in states that make moderate changes to market regulations.
"This CBO report again confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit".
The average monthly premiums increased from $224 in 2013 to $476 in 2017, according to the report.
Besides premiums, other critical components of the value of health insurance are out-of-pocket costs and benefits.
But not every American would benefit equally, experts noted. One of the amendments gives wide latitude to states to request waivers from Obamacare provisions created to ensure comprehensive coverage for everyone, regardless of health status.
Some Republicans want a gentler transition away from Obamacare's vast expansion of Medicaid coverage for the poor, or to bolster tax credits for people whose costs would rise under the House plan. Likewise, some people with higher incomes could see substantially lower premiums under this bill.
Does the possibility of losing coverage for preexisting conditions disproportionately affect older people? The initial bill would have lowered the deficits by $150 billion, but lawmakers added back in more money to a stability fund for states to deal with costly enrollees, CNN reported, meaning less federal savings but more opportunity for those seeking coverage. The AHCA, passed earlier this year by the U.S. House, seeks to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Leaders are using a process known as budget reconciliation to circumvent usual Senate rules and expedite a vote by a simple majority. And in place of government-subsidized insurance policies offered exclusively on the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces, the bill would offer tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 a year, depending on age.
The new estimates could give talking points to House Republicans, or to Democrats, who voted unanimously against that bill.
Faced with the new independent analysis, some Republicans admitted that they'd like to see some tweaks to their ideas as the Obamacare repeal effort proceeds in the Senate.
I said at the time and I still feel that there was no need for the House to rush the bill through without waiting for the CBO's analysis of what it would cost and what it would do for whom and to whom.
AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond, said in a statement that the bill would have a "devastating impact" on older Americans. "The president has broken his promise not to cut Medicaid, and 14 million Americans will pay the price".