CBO: Senate GOP health-care bill would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026
June 26, 2017
Senate Republicans’ bill to erase major parts of the Affordable Care Act would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured by the end of the coming decade — only about a million fewer than similar legislation recently passed by the House, according to the Congressional Budget Office
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According to the 49-page report, the immediate increase in the ranks of the uninsured would be slightly larger than under the House version, with an estimated 15 million fewer Americans likely to have coverage in 2018, compared to 14 million in the House bill.
The Senate’s bill also would reduce federal spending on subsidies for people who buy individual health insurance policies, significantly more than the House’s version, cutting spending for tax credits by $408 billion by 2026.
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Democrats immediately seized on the estimates to criticize Republicans for planning a vote on a bill that would force millions to lose insurance coverage and drive up premiums for seniors.
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. . . The Senate added a provision Monday that would let health plans freeze out customers for six months if they let their coverage lapse.
In different ways, both [the House and the Senate bills] would replace federal subsidies that help the vast majority of consumers buying coverage through ACA marketplaces, instead creating smaller tax credits that would provide greater assistance to younger adults while making insurance more expensive for people from middle age into their 60s.
After two years, both [the House and the Senate bills] also would end subsidies that now help about 7 million lower-income people with ACA health plans afford deductibles and copays. And both would repeal an array of taxes that have helped to pay for the ACA’s benefits, including levies on health insurers and on wealthy Americans’ investment income.
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The bill would, for instance, leave in place the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid through 2020. After that, it would begin a three-year phaseout of the federal money that under the ACA has paid almost the entire cost of adding 11 million Americans to the program’s rolls in 31 states.
That means the extra funding wouldn’t disappear until the mid-2020s.
Over the weekend, the senior Democrat on the Senate subcommittee that oversees the CBO said in a tweet that he had asked the budget office to estimate the Senate bill’s effect on insurance coverage over a longer time horizon. “GOP is hiding the worst Medicaid cuts in years 11, 12, 13 and hoping CBO stays quiet,” wrote Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.
Mitch McConnell is trying to get the Senate bill pased before FRIDAY of THIS week!!
Pease call your Senators every day for this coming week--especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act !!
In particular, if you reside in the following states, it is important to call and let your views be known to these Senators: Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona), Dean Heller (Nev.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Bill Cassidy (La.), and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
When you call your Senator, ask for his/her staff person assigned to health care issues. Here is a website with the names of staffers assigned to health care issues, for each Senator for each state: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/#CA
For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state: https://www.contactingcongress.org/
Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:
SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act
What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?
As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program, and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people.
And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.
As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:
--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;
--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;
- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out
--Panned Parenthood will not not lose federal money
--there will not be tax cuts for the wealthy
Please let the Senator know about my concerns. I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.