CBO Estimate of Revised House Health Care Bill Changes Little


The House-passed legislation would also reduce federal deficits over the next 10 years by $119 billion, CBO said Wednesday, which is less than the $150 billion CBO projected in a score of an earlier version of the bill.

He sidestepped questions about how the report would impact the Senate Republicans' work to craft their own Obamacare repeal and replace bill, but said he had spoken to several senators about several provisions of the legislation.

The GOP legislation would steer people with costly medical conditions - and who haven't maintained continuous individual coverage - into the high-risk pools in order to lower premiums for others.

The CBO specifies that these people would have difficulty getting affordable coverage "despite the additional funding that would be available".

The new estimates for the American Health Care Act are a slight improvement over earlier CBO projections that found 24 million would lose coverage over the next decade. The previous version of the bill was estimated to have caused about 2 million more people to become uninsured in 2020. Letting states get federal waivers so insurers could charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing medical conditions would mean those consumers would "ultimately be unable to purchase" comprehensive coverage at prices comparable to today's costs, "if they could purchase at all". Conservative and moderate Republican factions in the House were opposed to the initial legislation and the leadership decided not to put it up for a vote. However, average premiums starting in 2020 would partially depend on changes states might seek to Obamacare insurance requirements. "All of this to give a GOP tax cut to the wealthiest".

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Congressional estimates show that the tax cuts in the House Republicans' health care package have shrunk by $69 billion.

But Congressional Democrats like Virginia Senator Mark Warner said the CBO report confirms that the bill is a non-starter.

'The CBO has a long track record of being way, way off in its modeling, with predictions often differing drastically from what actually happens, ' noted Michael Reed, the research director and deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee. The bill will head to the Senate where it needs 51 votes to pass. "The report makes clear Trumpcare would be a cancer on the American healthcare system", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said at a news conference. Many Republicans have said their top goal is lowering premiums.

It gets worse. The new report that because the Republican proposal guts protections for essential-health benefits, people living in effected states "would experience substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care or would choose to forgo the services".

The recent revisions to the House GOP bill would slightly lessen the harsh impact of the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare.