According to a Congressional Budget office report released Wednesday, the Republican version of the Affordable Care Act brings both good and bad news. Although the legislation would save the U.S. government roughly $119 billion, it’s estimated some 23 million more people would be without health coverage.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the repeal-and-replace bill May 4 by a slim margin (217-213) after key changes meant to pull the support of more conservative Republicans.
In it’s report, the CBO said the version passed by the House would save the government $32 billion less than the previous proposal. The GOP’s first version was pulled from consideration March 24 after House Speaker Paul Ryan said there wouldn’t be enough votes to push through the legislation.
“The provisions dealing with health insurance coverage would reduce the deficit, on net, by $783 billion; the noncoverage provisions would increase the deficit by $664 billion, mostly by reducing revenues,” the CBO report said. “ … In 2026, an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law. Under the legislation, a few million of those people would use tax credits to purchase policies that would not cover major medical risks.”
Premiums would reportedly drop between 10 to 30 percent for states which apply for waivers, but decline to let insurers charge sick people whose health coverage lapses. Despite fuller coffers, the savings would be the product of dropping benefits considered crucial by ACA, and protections for individuals with preexisting conditions would vanish.
By next year, according to the report,”14 million more people would be uninsured … than under current law.” That number would rise to 19 million by 2020 and 23 million by 2026. Some 51 million people below age 65 would be without health coverage by 2026.