CBO: Republicans' AHCA Would Leave 23 Million More Uninsured

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Many Republicans say their chief goal is to reduce premiums.

The Republican plan would roll back the requirement under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that everybody has to have insurance.

In a blow to Republicans, the nonpartisan analysts were also critical of 11th-hour provisions that GOP leaders had added to pick up votes and assure the bill's passage.

In closed-door meetings aimed at crafting a measure, GOP senators have discussed changing the House's proposed Medicaid cuts and aiming health care tax credits more toward low earners, but they've reported little progress. "If we in the Senate come up with repeals and replaces (for Obamacare) that fulfill candidate Trump's pledges, that is good politics and we don't have to worry about misdemeanor charges".

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), one of the few Senate Republicans expected to face a tough reelection contest next year, said the House bill "does not do enough to address Nevada's Medicaid population or protect Nevadans with pre-existing conditions".

"The report makes clear Trumpcare would be a cancer on the American health care system", Schumer said.

"The bill would inflict serious harm on tens of millions of people nationwide, especially the 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions, 5.5 million in my state of Illinois", Durbin said at a Wednesday news conference.

The CBO specifies that these people would have difficulty getting affordable coverage "despite the additional funding that would be available".

"The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare's effect on cost and coverage, and they are wrong again", the Republican said in a statement.

The House of Representatives narrowly passed the revised version before the CBO could issue its assessment of the bill - prompting criticism from many who voiced concerns about the bill's potential impacts.

The House-passed legislation would also reduce federal deficits over the next 10 years by $119 billion, CBO said Wednesday, which is less than the $150 billion CBO projected in a score of an earlier version of the bill. The AHCA replaces government subsidies created to help lower- and middle-income people afford insurance premiums with tax credits based on age.

And it said costs could rise in states that apply for waivers to modify or remove the "essential health benefits", such as maternity care, that are now required in all insurance plans. It said consumers' out-of-pocket costs for those services "could increase by thousands of dollars in a given year for the (patients) who use those services".

As a outcome, the CBO and the JCT expect that the waivers in those states would have another effect: Community-rated premiums would increase over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with pre-existing or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable with those under the PPACA. By 2026, however, average premiums will be 20 percent lower than they are now in states that make moderate changes to market regulations. "In particular, states would have a wide range of options-notably, the optional waivers discussed above that would allow them to modify the minimum set of benefits that must be provided by insurance sold in the nongroup and small-group markets and that would permit medical underwriting for people who did not demonstrate continuous coverage".

Speaking following the CBO announcement, House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the bill, arguing it achieved a key Republican promise to bring down the cost of insurance premiums.

We can call this legislation whatever we want-you can call it a "destroy health care" bill.

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