Uninsured rise by 23 million under Republican health bill: forecast

Scenes from the legislative special session Wednesday night. Both the House and Senate have reconvened Thursday

Uninsured rise by 23 million under Republican health bill: forecast

The healthcare reform proposed by US President Donald Trump to "repeal and replace" ObamaCare, will leave 23 million US citizens without health insurance over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said.

This health care bill was just barely passed by the House earlier this month.

"Community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive non group health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all", reads the report.

Many people in states that under the bill could permit slimmer benefits and higher premiums for customers with pre-existing conditions "would face substantial increases in their out-of-pocket costs", the report said. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a key swing vote in the Senate, said that “Congresss focus must be to lower premiums with coverage which passes the Jimmy Kimmel test, ” referring to the late-night hosts tearful monologue about the health problems of his newborn son.

Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said he thinks the Senates rules have become outdated and argues they would likely would have been able to act on legislation faster if they didn't have to deal with the upper chamber's parliamentary hurdles.

"While I am in favour of repealing Obamacare, I am opposed to the American Health Care Act in its current form", Republican Senator Dean Heller said in a statement.

"This legislation would crush consumers by destabilizing insurance markets, eliminating critical protections, and forcing too many Georgians into the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured", she said.

Trump's Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, dismissed the new analysis.

The CBO's assessment will likely figure prominently as the Senate deliberates its version of the bill. (CBO Report). In other words, the CBO, which has regularly overstated the effect of ACA mandates, is now predicting that when the Individual Mandate is lifted, millions of people will choose to drop their insurance - not have it taken away.

"The CBO projection confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and reduce the federal deficit".

"We are on a rescue mission to bring down the cost of coverage and make sure families have access to affordable care", said Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House. The previous version of the bill reduced shortfalls by $150 billion.

"Enough is enough. I promised my constituents that I would vote to repeal and replace Obamacare and almost a month ago, my colleagues and I passed the American Health Care Act".

The CBO found that the amendment would cause instability in the individual insurance market for about a sixth of the population because it would become hard or impossible for less healthy people to purchase comprehensive coverage. "In those states, average premiums in the nongroup market would be about 4 percent lower in 2026 than under current law". The new bill will discourage unhealthy people to buy health insurance. And the impact on premiums would depend on whether a state elected to opt out of requiring policies cover certain services, such as maternity care or substance abuse treatment. For the one-third of the nation where states would modestly reduce coverage requirements, average premiums would be about 20 percent lower, the analysts estimated.

Overall, 51 million people under the age of 65 would be uninsured by the end of 2026, the Congressional Budget Office report said.

Democrats also blasted the bill and said the CBO report proved it would be catastrophic for millions of people who would lose health insurance. Citing markets where insurers have left or sought huge premium increases, Republicans have repeatedly said the statute must be dismantled because it is in a death spiral. "The report makes clear Trumpcare would be a cancer on the American healthcare system", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said at a news conference. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, following after a Republican policy luncheon.

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