Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Latest CBO Scoring of House Health Care Plan-23 million More Uninsured

1. How much will the new plan lower the deficit over 10-years? 

The previous version of the bill saved $337 billion over 10 years.  The new version needs to save at least $2 billion for the Senate to be able to pass the bill under budget reconciliation—i.e., with 51 votes instead of 60. 

  • The CBO says the new version will save $119 billion.

2. How many more people will be uninsured?

Under the previous bill, the CBO estimated that 24 million fewer Americans in 2026 would have health insurance than under Obamacare.

  • The CBO says the under the new version 23 million will be uninsured in 2026 than under Obamacare.

3. How will average health insurance premiums change?

Under the previous bill, the CBO estimated that average health insurance premiums would be cut by 10%.

  • The CBO says under the new version average premiums will go down 4% in states that DO NOT obtain wavers (see #4 below).  In half of those states, average premiums may go down a s much as 10%.  Premiums will go down more in states that receive waivers but people in those states will have higher out-of-pocket costs that many people will not be able to afford so they will forgo seeking health care.

4.  The MacArthur Amendment allows states to waive a number of regulations contained in Obamacare.   How many states will request waivers?

If many states obtain waivers, we can expect drastic changes in what the average health insurance policy covers and its affordability.

  • The CBO estimates that half of the population lives in states that WILL NOT obtain waivers and about ONE THIRD live in states that  WILL obtain waivers to make MODERATE changes
People in states that obtain waivers, will “experience substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care” or be forced to forgo health services because of the cost.

Bottom Line:  The new version of the House American Health Care Act is:

Less favorable in terms of deficit reduction

Only slightly better in terms of how many people will lose coverage.—23 Million losing coverage vs 24 million.

Better in terms of the average cost of premiums in states that request waivers from Obamacare requirements but at the cost of huge increases in out-of-pocket costs which will result in fewer people getting care when they need it.

Likely to result in states with half of the population seeking waivers to Obamacare requirements resulting in lower average premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs and less coverage for people living in those states.


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