|Trump celebrates with Paul Ryan as their health care plan passes the House|
Last month House Republicans narrowly passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) along party lines as they rushed the bill through in less than 24 hours. They marked the bills passage with a Trump led Rose Garden celebration complete with Bud Light for everyone despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office had not scored the bill before it's passage.
Now we know why the Republicans did not wait for the CBO's numbers on the AHCA before voting for it.
Today the the Congressional Budget Office reported that under the Republican's American Health Care Act Twenty-three million Americans would lose their health insurance under the GOP authored bill.
While the CBO also predicted that the deficit would come down by $119 billion over the next decade and that premiums for people buying insurance on their own would generally be lower for younger consumers it also pointed out that premiums for older and sicker people would skyrocket.
In addition to the horrifying news that the sick and infirmed would have less access to coverage the policies available on the market for them would tend to be a lot less comprehensive.
In other words, the price for lower premiums would be some combination of higher out-of-pocket costs, fewer covered services, and coverage that would be harder to get for the people who need it most.
The CBO report pointed out quite simply that...
“Insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health care costs,”
The CBO even predicts that several million people will opt to use the bill’s new tax credits to buy plans so bare-boned that they don’t even qualify as health insurance.
The American Health Care Act would also take away $1.1 trillion from programs that help people get covered, including $834 billion in cuts to Medicaid.
The net effect of the House-passed bill would reverse all of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion, which had pushed the uninsured rate to a historic low.
The CBO broke the losses down like this...
• Coverage losses would begin with 14 million more uninsured next year, 19 million more by 2020 and 23 million more by 2026.
• The largest share of the lower coverage numbers would come from the 14 million fewer low-income people who qualify for Medicaid.
• The rise in the uninsured would fall hardest on low-income people aged 50 to 64.
• Health insurance premiums for young adults generally would come down, in part because policies would be less comprehensive. A 21-year-old could buy an unsubsidized policy for as little as $3,700 a year under the House bill, compared to $5,100 under the Affordable Care Act.
• Health insurance cost would be significantly higher for older people as a 64-year-old’s annual unsubsidized premium would rise from $15,300 to as much as $21,000.
• Perhaps worst of all the bill would allow states to waive a rule that prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums to people at greater risk of medical problems letting insurers jack up rates for people with pre-existing conditions. This would violating Donald Trump's key promise to guarantee insurance for everybody regardless of medical status.
Today's CBO assessment of the AHCA is almost identical to the evaluations for the budget issued previously that the House had failed pass.
Senate Republicans, who are now left holding this sadistic bill, have made it clear they could not vote for any bill that would reduce regulations on health insurance, rearrange tax credits for people buying health insurance and dramatically cut funding for Medicaid leaving many millions of Americans without health insurance while exposing older, sicker people to some combination of higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Well that about covers it guys because the House bill would do all that and a lot more.