Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a preliminary analysis of the latest Republican effort to replace Obamacare called the Graham- Cassidy Amendment that deals with the re-distribution of federal funds from Obamacare and giving block grants directly to states.
The CBO analysis concluded that over the 2017-2026 period, the proposed legislation would reduce the on-budget deficit by at least $133 billion, primarily because the outlays from new block grants between 2020 and 2026 would be smaller and the funding would shift away from states that extended Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) towards states that did not.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) cited the shifting of Medicaid funding as one of the primary reasons she’s decided to not support the Graham-Cassidy Amendment.
In a released statement on Monday, Sen. Collins said the proposal makes sweeping changes to Medicaid and also opens the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Here is the full statement from Sen. Collins on Twitter where she gives her entire explanation for opposing the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bills.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) September 25, 2017
The CBO estimates that under the Graham-Cassidy health care legislation, the number of Americans with comprehensive health insurance that covers high-cost medical events would be reduced by “millions” but could vary on a state by state basis depending on how states implement the new healthcare legislation.
The CBO wrote the effect of the proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation would result in a reduction of insured Americans compared to current law under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) due to 3 main reasons:
- Enrollment in Medicaid would be substantially lower because of large reductions in federal funding for that program.
- Enrollment in nongroup coverage would be lower because of reductions in subsidies for it.
- Enrollment in all types of health insurance would be lower because penalties for not having insurance would be repealed.
CBO analysis shows the losses in coverage would be partly offset by enrollment in new state programs using block state grants and due to somewhat higher enrollment through employer based insurance but the decrease in the number of insured Americans would accelerate starting in 2020 when the legislation makes major changes to federal funding for Medicaid and the nongroup market.
The CBO said they would need at least several weeks to provide more accurate estimates about the effects of the proposed legislation on the deficit, health insurance, and premiums.
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