Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a score of the Republican Senate healthcare plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, that shows if it becomes adopted it would lower the federal deficit by $321 billion over the coming decade but increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million in 2026, slightly lower than 23 million uninsured in the recently passed Republican healthcare plan from the House of Representatives.
The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 was designed by a small group of Republicans behind closed doors on Capitol Hill that is aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act by offering a new healthcare package for Americans that eliminates taxes on the wealthiest of Americans and makes major reductions to Medicaid, among other measures.
The estimated reduction of $321 billion with the federal deficit from is $202 billion larger than the estimated $119 billion savings from the newly passed Republican House plan, known as the American Health Care Act of 2017.
An estimated 49 million Americans would be uninsured by 2026 if the Republican Senate healthcare plan is implemented, compared with 28 million uninsured by 2026 if the Affordable Care Act remains intact, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
On a more immediate basis, 15 million more Americans would be uninsured in 2018 and 19 million in 2020, largely because the penalty attached to the mandate for not carrying health insurance would be eliminated
Higher Premiums Until 2020
Similar to the newly House approved healthcare legislation, the Republican Senate healthcare proposal would lead to an increase of 20 percent with average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals in 2018, primarily because the mandate penalty would be eliminated, resulting in fewer healthier Americans to sign up.
By 2019 average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals would come down from the 20 percent increase in 2018 but still rise 10 percent higher than if the Affordable Care Act remained intact during the same year.
In 2020 a sharp 30 percent decrease would occur with average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals compared to current law with the Affordable Care Act, mostly due to the smaller share of benefits paid for by the benchmark plans and federal dollars provided to directly lower premiums.
By 2026 average premiums for single individuals would be about 20 percent lower than under current law with the Affordable Care Act, a smaller decrease than 2020 because federal funding to reduce premiums would have decreased.
The Republican Senate healthcare plan reduces Medicaid by $ 772 billion from 2017-2026 compared to $834 billion from the same period with the newly passed Republican House plan.
Spending on Medicaid would decline in 2026 by 26 percent compared to current law with the Affordable Care Act and from changes to the ACA’s subsidies for nongroup health insurance.
Removing taxes or repealing taxes in the Affordable Care Act that are not directly related to health insurance coverage, including a repeal of a surtax on net investment income and annual fees imposed on health insurers, would lower federal revenue by $ 541 billion from 2017- 2026, which is $ 123 billion lower than the Republican House passed healthcare plan of $ 664 billion.
The Congressional Budget Office admitted that their estimates are “inherently inexact because the ways in which federal agencies, states, insurers, employers, individuals, doctors, hospitals, and other affected parties would respond to the changes made by this legislation are all difficult to predict.”
Presently, there are 5 Republican Senators opposed to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can’t afford to lose more than 2 Republican votes for the healthcare plan to become approved since Senate Democrats are not in favor of the proposed changes to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted a video yesterday showing clips of several Republican who don’t support the Republican Senate healthcare legislation.
Sen. Sanders tweeted, “This is what Republicans said about their bill over the weekend. What will they say now that we know 22 million will lose health insurance?”
This is what Republicans said about their bill over the weekend. What will they say now that we know 22 million will lose health insurance? pic.twitter.com/uaQPvOS1E5
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 26, 2017
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