CBO: GOP health care bill would leave 23M more people uninsured

The CBO also predicted the bill would cut the budget deficit by $119 billion.

For GOP senators holding private meetings to sketch out their own legislation, the report's figures could serve as a starting point as they consider changing the House's Medicaid cuts, tax credits and other policies.

Democrats have savaged the GOP bill for tossing people off their coverage, threatening their benefits and jeopardizing coverage for people with serious, costly to treat medical conditions. But less healthy Americans in those states could face "extremely high premiums", the report said.

The report also shed some light into how the House GOP bill, titled the American Health Care Act, would change the nation's individual health insurance market. Roughly half of people would live states that did not seek any waivers, and their premiums would be 4 percent lower than under current law in 2026, according to the CBO's projections.

That's because under the AHCA, states could get waivers exempting them from some Obamacare provisions, including what are called "essential health benefits" - a list of basics like mental health and prescription drugs that the Affordable Care Act required plans to cover. The CBO score comes as Senate Republicans are working intensely behind the scenes to craft a compromise bill that can get the 50 votes it would need to pass the chamber, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie.

The Senate bill can't spend more money than the House one, constraining efforts by some Republicans to bolster spending on Medicaid or on subsidies to help older people afford health insurance.

'The CBO has a long track record of being way, way off in its modeling, with predictions often differing drastically from what actually happens, ' noted Michael Reed, the research director and deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee.

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If that threshold had not been met, the House would have had to vote again on a new bill. The GOP amended the bill to court hard-line conservatives. By choosing the former, people who are healthier than average would be able to purchase nongroup insurance with relatively low premiums.

The amended version of the bill - which would allow states to waive pre-existing condition protections as well as mandates on procedures and services insurance companies must cover - had not been scored by the CBO when the House passed it.

GOP leaders have delayed sending the health bill to the Senate until the new estimate was released, which last week sparked concern about what the estimate could say.

In previous reports on earlier versions of the bill, the nonpartisan budget office concluded the legislation would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million over a decade.

"Trumpcare means higher costs and less care for the American people", he said."For the good of the country, Republicans in the senate should reject this path and work with Democrats to fix our health care system instead of pulling the plug on it".


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