Senate Health Bill Would Drive Coverage Down by 22 Million: CBO

The Congressional Budget Office said what's called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 would result in 49 million people uninsured, or 22 million more than what's now projected under the Affordable Care Act, the law commonly called Obamacare, by the year 2026.

In their analysis of the draft legislation, the CBO explains: "In 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law - primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated".

The Congressional Budget Office says 22 million people would lose health care under the Senate's version of Trumpcare that Senate Republicans are racing to bring to a vote this week without hearings. The measure would reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion over 10 years, about a $202 billion larger reduction compared to the House bill. "Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!"

Under the House-passed bill, 23 million more people without health insurance over the same time period, CBO projected in May. The dismal CBO score could foil Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to rush the sweeping legislation to the floor before July 4. But the vast majority of that revenue would be lost because other taxes enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act would be repealed.

Before these provisions were enacted, the only taxes that were dedicated to health care was the Medicare tax on wages, which was not progressive, exempted investment income and mostly flows to the wealthiest Americans.

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"Virtually nothing" of the input from conservatives made it to the recently released version of the bill, Johnson said.

But Urtz is concerned that the Senate bill would allow states to seek waivers letting insurers impose limits on how much coverage a person can get. McConnell needs at least 50 of his caucus' 52 Republicans to support the bill for it to pass, and any policy shift to appease the conservative holdouts could cause more moderate GOP lawmakers to balk.

Richard Blumenthal Monday said he would introduce several amendments on the Senate floor to try and block the Republican health care bill from passing. It also repeals numerous taxes that helped to pay for the ACA's benefits.

The analysis found that the Senate's bill would result in a whopping 22 million fewer Americans without health insurance by 2026. This forecast comes as Senate Republican leaders press for a vote on the bill later this week, and it has already led one Republican senator to firmly oppose the bill.

This was a gray area in the initial version of the Senate's "Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017".

  • Toni Ryan