The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Republican-proposed alternative to the Affordable Care Act estimates that 24 million Americans will lose healthcare coverage by 2026 under the new plan.
That number is significantly higher than many experts predicted last week, and undercuts President Donald Trump’s repeated promises that the Republican healthcare plan will provide “insurance for everybody.”
The CBO analysis, which was released today, expects 14 million additional people to be uninsured next year under the plan, due to costlier premiums and the loss of the individual mandate penalty. In the longer term, coverage loss will be mostly the result of repealing Medicaid expansion. By 2026, the report writes, “an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.”
The analysis also estimates that the new plan will lead to a $337 billion reduction in the federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period, largely due to “reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance.”
Colorado’s Democratic Congress members are already expressing concerns over the report’s findings.
Rep. Diana DeGette wrote in a statement, “The truth is now plain for all to see: This Trumpcare bill will take a terrible toll, both in human and financial terms.” She added, “Rather than jamming this bad bill through the House for a lopsided, party-line vote as the majority leadership is trying to do, we should sit down together and work on bipartisan solutions to improve what we already have.”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter wrote, “The CBO report shows the Republicans’ one-sided plan to “lower the deficit” by eliminating assistance for people to buy insurance and then providing tax cuts for the wealthy and insurance companies. As I’ve said before, I will fight against any effort to roll back the progress that was made under the ACA.”
Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Jared Polis reacted to the analysis via Twitter:
Previously wrote 11 mil people could lose health insurance. Unfortunately that was optimistic. Turns out it’s 24 mil https://t.co/7BuqwrxeYG
— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) March 13, 2017
2018: 14 mil.
2020: 21 mil.
2026: 24 mil.
— Rep. Jared Polis (@RepJaredPolis) March 13, 2017
Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn cast doubt onto the accuracy of the CBO’s findings. “People should remember that the CBO does not have a perfect track record when it comes to health care related projections,” he wrote in a statement, citing a 2010 estimate that 21 million people would purchase insurance coverage through the ACA health insurance exchanges in 2016. The total number, as Lamborn pointed out, was 11.5 million. “Also in 2010, the CBO projected that 30 million more people would have insurance under Obamacare by March of 2016. The actual number was 22 million, a difference of 8 million people,” he wrote.
Lamborn also highlighted the anticipated federal deficit reduction and decrease in spending as a result of the new plan, and called it “just the first step.” He added, “Doing nothing is not an option because of the death spiral Obamacare is in.”
This story will be updated as more members of Congress release public reactions to the analysis.
Photo credit: MilitaryHealth, Creative Commons, Flickr