Throughout Congressional Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has provided reality check after reality check. Millions of people would be left uninsured by the House’s American Health Care Act, as well as the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act. So it’s no surprise that the score for the Senate’s revised bill indicates 15 million would be left uninsured by 2018. By 2026, that number will rise to 22 million.
The score comes a day after the CBO said a full repeal of Obamacare with no replacement — a plan Republicans quickly abandoned — would leave 32 million uninsured. It’s nearly identical to the previous score for the Senate’s original draft unveiled in June. Senators held a marathon bargaining session Wednesday to try to come to an agreement on a bill, but it was inconclusive. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems intent to hold a procedural vote to bring the bill up for debate next week, but he might not have the votes to do even that, which would be yet another blow to the repeal efforts.
According to the Times, the score does not include the effect allowing insurers to offer low-cost, bare-bones coverage plans — a demand by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — would have. In addition, the newest bill would reduce the federal deficit by about $100 billion more than its predecessor by keeping in place two taxes on high-income earners. While the bill would reduce premiums after a couple of years (though not for older people), the out-of-pocket expenses for insurance customers would increase dramatically.
(Via New York Times)