Republicans working to repeal and replace Obamacare have been expecting bad news when the Congressional Budget Office began scoring the impact of their plan, the American Health Care Act. They knew that their plan would result in some number of millions of Americans losing their insurance coverage.
But not the 24 million that the CBO’s estimate, released today, calculates. That’s at the high end of the projections that I’ve seen about the impact of the Republican plan to do away with the individual mandate and that would move from a plan that uses income-based subsidies to help people buy insurance to one that uses an age-based formula. The Republican plan would also wind down the Obama administration’s expansion of Medicaid in the 31 states that have chosen to participate in the expansion.
Fourteen million people would lose health coverage next year alone, the CBO projects.Premiums would be 15% to 20% higher in the first year compared to Obamacare, but 10% lower on average after 2026. By and large, older Americans would pay “substantially” more and younger Americans less, the CBO estimates. According to the CBO, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured in 2026, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
As for the impact on the Federal budget, the CBO estimates that the lower subsidies in the plan for lower income Americans and the wind-down of the Medicaid expansion for the poorest Americans would reduce the Federal deficit by $347 billion over the next decade.