At this point, it seems that the American Health Care Act really is “dead on arrival.”
According to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, a huge number of Americans would go uninsured under the AHCA. The report reveals the following estimates:
‘In 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law.
‘Later…the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026.’
It is noted in the report that most of the initial increase in uninsured Americans would be the result of “repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate,” meaning that a number of Americans will choose not to pay for health insurance since they are no longer required to do so by law.
However, the report also suggests that the reductions from 2018 to 2026 will largely come 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 and JCT also found that the AHCA, if passed, will mean bad news for older Americans. While premiums will go down for young adults, they will rise dramatically for the elderly.
‘Under the legislation, insurers would be allowed to generally charge five times more for older enrollees than younger ones rather than three times more as under current law, substantially reducing premiums for young adults and substantially raising premiums for older people.’
Will the results of the analysis from the CBO and the JCT have an effect on the number of Republicans who vote to pass the AHCA? They should, but, according to The New York Times, Republicans have been hard at work trying to undermine the CBO’s credibility.
President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, recently questioned the CBO’s credibility during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
‘If the CBO was right about Obamacare to begin with, there’d be 8 million more people on Obamacare today than there actually are. Sometimes we ask them to do stuff they’re not capable of doing.’
House Speaker Paul Ryan has also downplayed the significance of the CBO’s estimates. In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Ryan said:
‘We always know you’re never going to win a coverage beauty contest when it’s free market versus government mandates. If the government says thou shall buy our health insurance, the government estimates are going to say people will comply and it will happen. And when you replace that with we’re going to have a free market, and you buy what you want to buy, they’re going to say not nearly as many people are going to do that.’
Try as they might to convince people to ignore the CBO’s estimates and push the bill through, the GOP still has a lot of explaining to do regarding the AHCA. Plenty of Americans are taking these numbers very seriously, as the tweets below indicate, and there are going to be a lot of unhappy, uninsured people out there if the AHCA is passed.
— Hurst4Spd (@J_Hurstman) March 13, 2017
#DonaldTrump before: Better, cheaper insurance. Everyone covered.
The CBO (Congressional Budget Office): Bullshit, or words to that effect.
— Birdinhand 🤷🏼♂️ (@Birdinhand2) March 13, 2017
CBO makes clear #Trumpcare will cause serious harm to millions of American families. This should be a looming stop sign for the GOP.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 13, 2017
You literally can't exaggerate how big a disaster the CBO report is. The cost in lives, the sheer amount of suffering the bill will cause…
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) March 13, 2017
— Wendell_Barnhouse (@WBBBPB) March 13, 2017
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 13, 2017
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.