CBO: 22M would lose insurance by 2026 under revised Senate bill

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  July 20, 2017 at 2:35 PM
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July 20 (UPI) -- The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday said 22 million people would lose health insurance coverage by 2026 under the revised healthcare bill proposed by Senate Republicans.

The latest efforts to pass the revised healthcare bill ended on Monday when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shelved the proposal after failing to secure support from enough GOP moderates and conservatives.

Instead, McConnell said he would push the Senate to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and replace it later with legislation.

The revised bill -- called the Better Care Reconciliation Act -- included an amendment from conservative Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas that would allow the sale of cheap, deregulated insurance plans as long as those plans that adhered with measures imposed under the ACA were still sold.

The CBO did not include analysis of Cruz's amendment in its latest report because it is expected to take weeks to evaluate the measure. However, the bill did include in its analysis the $70 billion required to pay for the amendment.

The CBO said the bill would reduce the deficit by about $420 billion by 2026 because the proposal keeps two taxes imposed by the ACA.

Insurance premiums are expected to rise until 2020 when prices would be 30 percent lower in comparison to what is expected under the ACA. The CBO said most older people would still face higher premiums than younger people.

The Senate is expected to vote on healthcare next week but it is not yet clear if the vote will be for a straight repeal of the ACA or for the ACA's repeal and replacement with another bill.

"In 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law," the CBO said in a statement. "The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 22 million in 2026. In 2026, an estimated 82 percent of all U.S. residents under age 65 would be insured, compared with 90 percent under current law."

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