Congressional Budget Office Releases Score on American Health Care Act

2017-03-17 | Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its much-anticipated analysis of the American Health Care Act (ACHA). The CBO estimates that over the course of 10 years, the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion while leaving 24 million additional Americans uninsured, bringing the total uninsured rate to 18.6 percent (compared to 10.3 percent in 2016).

The loss of coverage is attributed to the repeal of the individual mandate, repeal of the employer mandate to provide health insurance coverage, and the rollback of the Medicaid expansion. In addition, the CBO estimates that health insurance premiums level would rise by 20 percent in the short-term but would dip below current levels by 2026.

Congress has seen a very mixed reaction to the proposed ACHA, as some of the more conservative members, mainly from the Freedom Caucus, think the repeal bill doesn’t go far enough and the ACA should be completely repealed and replaced with a completely new bill. Some conservative groups, such as the Heritage Foundation, are also sending that message. Commentary on Heritage’s website states, that their number one issue with AHCA is that “The bill does not fully repeal Obamacare. If you have a faulty foundation, nothing you build on top of it is stable or sustainable.” Even an unlikely mix of health care groups have come out in opposition to the bills. The strong mixed feelings about the AHCA make its passage, as currently written, a tough battle.

What else we are reading about the American Health Care Act: