The CBO releases its report on the Obamacare repeal legislation
The Congressional Budget Office has released its long-awaited report on the Republican establishment’s Obamacare repeal legislation and there are some interesting numbers contained within. I will assume these numbers are correct because this is all we have to go on and the Republicans and the Democrats are going to use them to tout their positions.
According to this story the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million Americans will lose their healthcare insurance under the plan while the Federal deficit will be cut by federal deficit by $337 billion through 2026.
A Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 24 million more people without insurance in 2026 compared with current law, an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found.
The legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion through 2026, in large part because it would lower federal spending for Medicaid and end tax credits now provided to people on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges
Part of the estimated 24 million people who would lose their insurance are people who would opt out of purchasing insurance. That is fine with me, I do not think anyone should be forced to buy a product they do not want and I do like the prospect of bringing down the deficit by over $300 billion. However:
The report, by the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, said the number of insured would drop in part because of people opting to go without coverage once the requirement that most Americans have coverage or pay a penalty is repealed. Higher premiums would also prompt some people to opt to go without insurance.
Premiums in the individual market would tend to increase before 2020, rising up to 20% higher than under the ACA, in large part because of the demise of the penalty for not having coverage, based on the report. Premiums would then go down: In 2026, the average premiums for a single person in the individual market would be about 10% lower than under the health law now, the analysis found.
The Republicans have been claiming that the biggest flaw in Obamacare was the fact that premiums were rising and they promised to make health insurance more affordable and yet according to this report the premiums will continue to rise through 2020 and at a higher rate than they would if Obamacare was left in place.
As far as premiums dropping 10% after 2026; I am not buying that one bit, once the price goes up it will never come down. Maybe the premiums will stabilize…maybe, but even if they do come down 10% after 2026 the premiums will most likely have risen more than that by 2026 so we still lose.
Paul Ryan is using this report to tout his position that this bill will bring down costs after a transition period. However a 10 year transition period before costs will hypothetically come down does nothing to help those of us who have been struggling with premium increases for years.
I fail to see how this plan is any better than Obamacare.
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium