The Congressional Budget Office — a non-partisan scoring agency — and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation released its cost estimate for the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act and estimated $119 billion in net savings from 2017 to 2026 for the proposed health care plan.
Republicans needed the bill to shave off $2 billion from the federal deficit over the decade span for it to be considered under the reconciliation process in the Senate.
This is $32 billion less in net savings than estimated by the House Committee on Rules on March 22, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) release.
Over the 2017-2026 period, the CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation estimate the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would reduce direct spending by $1.11 trillion and reduce revenues by $992 billion, for a net reduction of $119 billion over the decade.
“The largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the replacement of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance with new tax credits for nongroup health insurance,” CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation representatives wrote in the release.
The CBO and Joint Committee estimate that in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) than under the existing law. The number would increase to 19 million by 2020 and to 23 million by 2026.
In 2026, an estimated 51 million people under the age of 65 years would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would be uninsured that year under the existing law.
“Under Obamacare, premiums have more than doubled, and choices have dwindled to the point that many families have no options at all,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a statement on his website. “We are on a rescue mission to bring down the cost of coverage and make sure families have access to affordable care. This CBO report again confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit. It is another positive step toward keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
However, the nation’s leading medical organizations are urging Senate to ensure such changes do not leave millions uninsured.
“Today’s estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show that last-minute changes to the AHCA made by the House offered no real improvements. Millions of Americans will become uninsured, with low-income families on Medicaid being hit the hardest,” Andrew W. Gurman, MD, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement. “We urge the Senate to ensure that any changes made to current law do not cause Americans to lose access to affordable, meaningful health insurance coverage.”