Report estimates new health care bill will cause 15 million to lose coverage, possibly millions more

Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 19:13:37-05

DENVER – A report out Friday from the Brookings Institution says it is likely the Congressional Budget Office will estimate more than 15 million people would lose health care coverage under the new House GOP bill.

The CBO is expected to release its projections Monday on how many people might lose health insurance, and how much premiums and out-of-pocket costs might amount to under the American Health Care Act – the bill House Republicans have put forth to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The budget office provides nonpartisan analysis of the effects legislation and other orders might have on the national budget and on Americans. It has no political affiliation or motivations.

The projections released Friday by Brookings Institution are based off prior CBO analysis and was compiled as part of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Initiative in Health Policy.

The analysis finds that it’s likely CBO will determine at least 15 million people will lose coverage by 2026.

“Estimates could be higher, but it’s is [sic] unlikely they will be significantly lower,” the report says.

It says that the ACHA’s repeal of the individual mandate contained in the ACA, better known as Obamacare, would leave 15 million uninsured. Further, the report says, the parts of the new bill affecting Medicaid would lead to “significant coverage losses, likely on the order of several million.”

The main basis for the report’s judgments is a recently-released CBO report that estimated that repealing the individual mandate of the ACA would cause individual premiums to increase by 20 percent and lead to 6 million people losing insurance by 2026.

Another CBO report determined that another 2 million would lose employer coverage and that another 7 million would lose Medicaid coverage.

Many, including Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, have voiced concerns about the provision that would end Medicaid expansion allowed under the ACA in 2020, and would further penalize people who had lapses in coverage. Others still have voiced concerns over a move to use tax credits that analysts have said benefit the wealthy more than low-income people and are 36 percent lower than the tax credits available under the ACA.

The CBO report is expected to have huge ramifications on the bill’s fate in Congress. It has already received significant pushback from both Democrats and conservatives, but passed through two House committees without significant changes.

On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said that he didn’t believe that “individuals will lose coverage at all.”

But House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has led the effort to push the new bill quickly through Congress said, “We always know you’re never going to win a beauty contest when it’s free market versus government mandate,” according to a Vox report.

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., has joined a growing list of members of Congress to say they would not vote on the new bill until they received estimates from the CBO.

“We’re not about to let the tyranny of the majority in Congress leave people vulnerable just because House GOP wants to jam this bill through,” she tweeted.


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