The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican party’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, has received very mixed reviews, even from GOP members, some of whom have called it “Obamacare 2.0” and “Obamacare Light.” Hospital organizations and physician groups also weighed in on the bill, both expressing their opposition. Even insurance companies had reservations about the plan.
All of this opposition, however, was based on speculation on the effects of the bill. Until now. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan federal agency, just released its analysis of the AHCA, and they found that the new act would lead to 14 million new uninsured by 2018 and 24 million uninsured by 2026.
The report states that initially some of the newly uninsured would be those discontinuing their health insurance voluntarily, as the act repeals the mandate to carry insurance. However, it found that later on the number of uninsured would increase due to decreased eligibility for Medicaid.
As for premiums, the report states that for individuals trying to purchase insurance, the premiums would go up prior to 2020 and then fall thereafter to below the current levels. The CBO further says that by 2026, individual premiums should fall to 10% below those in place now.
The big winner in the new act, according to the CBO’s analysis, would be the government’s bottom line, as they predict the bill would lead to a $337 billion decrease in the deficit over the next decade, mostly due to decreased funding to Medicaid and decreased subsidy payments, as fewer would be buying insurance on the individual market.
It remains to be seen if those on the fence about the GOP health care plan will be swayed by these findings, but if the town halls across the nation are any indication, the finding that the AHCA will leave millions without care is likely to increase the resolve of opponents.