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Published: Fri, May 26, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

23 million more uninsured with GOP health bill, analysts say


An illustration from the Congressional Budget Office analysis.

An estimated 23 million people would lose health coverage by 2026 under Republican legislation aimed at repealing Obamacare, a nonpartisan congressional agency said on Wednesday in the first calculation of the new bill's potential impact.

The bill's impact in CT would depend on how the state decides on choices the legislation provides for changing insurance regulations.

But the CBO report said the amendment would make it hard or impossible for people in poor health to purchase comprehensive coverage in some states.

Keeping former President Barack Obama's health care law is "completely unacceptable and totally unsustainable", the Senate's top Republican said Wednesday as the two parties braced for a Congressional Budget Office report on a House-passed bill overhauling that statute.

Prior to the changes, the CBO estimated that the bill would result in savings of $150 billion over the next decade and grow the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million. So CBO had to predict how states would react. The CBO estimated that states seeking waivers to strip the ACA's "essential health benefits" would affect roughly one-sixth of the population. But that would be partly because policies would typically provide fewer benefits and sicker people would be priced out, it concluded.

"Congress" focus must be to lower premiums with coverage which passes the "Jimmy Kimmel Test.' The AHCA does not", Cassidy said, a reference to the now-viral monologue from ABC late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, in which he made an emotional plea for coverage of patients with pre-existing conditions.

Any changes CT would make to the benefits an insurer must provide would have to comply with a state law that mandates certain coverages, or that law would have to be changed.

Additionally, if you are a person with pre-existing conditions and you don't get health insurance through an employer, the CBO suggests the AHCA could strip protections away from you in certain USA states. "I stand ready and willing to come to the table to work on changes to the Affordable Care Act that will increase coverage and reduce costs, and my Republican colleagues should do the same instead of recklessly trying to dismantle the law because they promised to repeal it on the campaign trail". "Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums". This would reverse major gains in coverage among the uninsured since Obamacare's exchanges opened and Medicaid expansion went into effect in 2014.

In the AHCA, older Americans can be charged five times as much as younger people for health insurance.

The report found that under the House measure, people in some regions with pre-existing medical conditions or the seriously ill "would ultimately be unable to purchase" robust coverage at premiums comparable to today's prices, "if they could purchase at all".

Whether or not it was good form, the House Democrats' post-vote sing-along is looking more and more prescient. This is an interesting figure from the CBO, because it is immediately challenged by opponents of Obamacare, who argue that people should have the right to *not* buy health insurance, and that most of those going without insurance will fall into that category. And Susan, to start, what does the CBO say the budget impact would be if this House bill actually became law?

"The President and House leadership are continuing to push for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which is creating uncertainty and instability in the health care system".

"They tried to put lipstick on a pig and they have made a mess", said Sen.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said, "We're still a ways away from having solutions here".

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