GOP focus on lowering health premiums may undermine benefits

While many Republicans may take issue with the CBO estimates, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pleased the report is finally done.

When House Republicans passed health care reform last month, the G.O.P. and President Trump said they had to act because Obamacare is failing. Republican senators have said they're moving in their own direction. Republicans also control the U.S. Senate, and many Republican Senators say there is no way they can pass the House bill without changes that would protect more consumers. "But it's going to be hard". However, over time, less healthy individuals (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would be unable to purchase comprehensive coverage with premiums close to those under current law and might not be able to purchase coverage at all. Bill Cassidy also showed that many states would have to shoulder a much larger burden of Medicaid costs because of the AHCA's changes to funding for that program. Others would lose it because people who are older, sicker or both would find they are priced out of useful insurance.

It estimated that 23 million more people would be without health insurance in 2026 compared with the current baseline. More than one-third of all US children rely on Medicaid for their health care, and nearly half of Medicaid recipients are children.

Benefits likely to be excluded from required coverage in some states would include maternity, mental health and substance abuse services, the report said.

A spokesperson for her says "the CBO has found this legislation will lower taxes, reduce our deficits and lower premiums". "It is another positive step toward keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare", said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. That dollar figure was a considerable change from the original version of the bill that CBO said would have saved $337 billion, but lawmakers chose to spend back some of those savings on help for those likely to be cut off from insurance.

GOP leaders were quick to point to the deficit reduction figure as good news for their legislation " even though an earlier version of the bill, rejected by the House, would have reduced the deficit by more than twice as much.

The latest bill would cut taxes by about $1 trillion over a decade, mostly for higher income people and health insurers, the CBO said.

One type of waiver would allow states to modify the requirements governing "essential health benefits", which set minimum standards for the benefits that insurance in the nongroup and small-group markets must cover.

Finally, while the new bill would mean lower insurance premiums for the youngest and healthiest Americans, it would mean the opposite for the country's oldest and poorest.

"When the ACA was passed, insurance companies could no longer dictate whether or not I would receive the care I needed", said Melissa Schmidbauer, who has Crohn's Disease. Said Price: "The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare's effect on cost and coverage, and they are wrong now".

"We don't think people should be forced to buy it", he said.

That's right - not only would more than 20 million Americans lose their coverage, but millions of children would be at risk of losing insurance that covers serious health conditions, all so Republicans can high-five each other for repealing the Affordable Care Act. 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.

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