nsucurrent.com April 19, 2018

Estimated 23 mln would lose health insurance under Republican bill -CBO

25 May 2017, 01:55 | Dan Bryan

The final House bill's provisions letting states ask for waivers to get rid of certain mandatory benefits for insurance policies and community rating-a rule that requires people of the same age pay the same price for coverage- makes it hard to know what would ultimately happen, but as Vox health policy wizard Sarah Kliff points out, CBO estimates premiums for some elderly low-income people could go up by 800 per cent.

It was the budget office's first analysis of the bill that passed the House May 4 with only GOP votes.

"We will get a score next week".

The House bill's changes to Medicaid lost the support of moderate Republicans in that chamber, and may prove a tough issue in the Senate.

Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump campaigned on replacing President Barack Obama's signature health-care law.

"Today's updated CBO score reaffirms the disturbing reality of Trumpcare: tens of millions of Americans would lose their health insurance and millions more would be forced to pay dramatically more for less coverage", said Rep. Richard Neal of MA, the top Democrat on the House Ways & Means Committee.

Republicans tried to downplay the CBO's score the first time around. Republicans passed the bill before the Congressional Budget Office scored it.

In a highly anticipated analysis, the nonpartisan CBO slightly lowered its estimate of how many fewer people would be insured over 10 years.

The bill still contains nearly $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy.

Eager to notch a political win in the GOP's years-long mission to repeal Obamacare, Republican lawmakers took a gamble by voting before the CBO could analyze last-minute changes to the bill.

The legislation is also expected to increase insurance premiums by 20% in 2018 and 5% in 2019.

In the states that don't request waivers, average premiums would be about 4% lower than under Obamacare. Under budget reconciliation - a process that allows the Senate to pass a bill with only 51 simple majority "yes" votes - the GOP bill must hit a $2 billion savings goal over the next decade.

Republican senators have said they'll set aside the House's bill and work on their own repeal-and-replace effort, but the CBO score still holds importance for their work.

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.

Another amendment allocates an additional US$8 billion over five years to help people with pre-existing conditions cover medical costs.

It was was languishing until an amendment by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., allowed states to sidestep an Affordable Care Act requirement that individual insurers cover 10 "essential" health benefits. "I have a different opinion", he said.

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