The CBO, or Congressional Budget Office, reported their findings for the updated American Health Care Act last week. Little has changed since their initial report in March, before the AHCA even passed through the House. In fact, they kept most of their numbers the same with the assumption that the differences between the two bills weren’t large enough for them to change all their estimates. Several different pages of the report state a disclaimer such as, “Estimates are based on CBO’s March 2016 baseline, adjusted for subsequent legislation.”
The bill hasn’t even made it to the Senate floor yet, but the CBO established this new report showing financial pros and cons:
1. They found that the AHCA would, in fact, save the government money and “reduce the federal deficit by about $120 billion over the next 10 years,” but at what individual cost? Republicans are happy with the budget results, but Democrats are concerned that those funding cuts mean less coverage for those with insurance. Additionally, the CBO found that nearly 23 million Americans will lose coverage completely.
2. About one-sixth of insured Americans will no longer be able to afford their premiums with the AHCA. House Speaker Paul Ryan argues that premiums “nearly doubled” with Obamacare and lowering them is one of his goals. He’s convinced that the AHCA will do that and says that the CBO confirms it.
3. While reducing the federal deficit, something that has troubled our nation for decades, the AHCA (according to the CBO) will also bring a tax reduction valued at $662 billion. This will mostly affect the wealthy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is anything but optimistic about the AHCA and does not believe it will pass through Senate. Even Republicans aren’t sure about the bill, so it is not an issue of party alignment as much as an issue of what is truly right for the majority of the country. While Republicans want to repeal and replace Obamacare, most aren’t sure that the AHCA as it stands is the way to do it. This CBO report confirms those beliefs.
Read the official CBO report.