BREAKING: Shocking Number Lose Healthcare, Huge Cuts to Medicaid in Senate Trumpcare, CBO Reports
CBO Flattens Republicans’ Trumpcare Delusions Yet Again
The Congressional Budget Office published its analysis of the Senate’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Monday afternoon. Like its analysis of the House’s version of Trumpcare, the CBO’s report is a doozy. The report estimates that,
“CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law—primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 22 million in 2026. In later years, other changes in the legislation—lower spending on Medicaid and substantially smaller average subsidies for coverage in the nongroup market—would also lead to increases in the number of people without health insurance. By 2026, among people under age 65, enrollment in Medicaid would fall by about 16 percent and an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.”
Yes, you read that right. As soon as next year, 15 million fewer Americans would have health insurance, because the Trumpcare bill guts Obamacare’s individual mandate.
By 2026, the number of more uninsured Americans would rise to 24 million, more than undoing the estimated 19 million Americans who have gained health insurance under the ACA. The Senate’s bill is only slightly an improvement on the House bill in this regard. In March, the CBO estimated that the House’s bill would rip insurance out of the hands of 24 million Americans by 2026.
In one respect, though, the Senate bill is even worse than the House bill. Mitch McConnell’s ghoulish brainchild would squeeze Medicaid spending by 15% per enrollee between 2025 and 2035. The Senate bill would change Medicaid so that its funding would no longer be tied to medical inflation, but tied to overall inflation. This would mean that Medicaid recipients would slowly get squeezed. Over time, the most vulnerable Americans reliant on Medicaid would find their services being replaced by more for-profit insurance, as medical costs climb and insurers are able to get away with more predatory behavior that was banned by Obamacare.
Related: The Senate’s Health Care Bill Is Super Secret—But This Detail Just Leaked and it’s Terrifying
On Monday, before the CBO released its report, Politico published a report with a range of Beltway interviews that underlined how the CBO’s analysis was likely to “add to McConnell’s headaches.” The CBO report on the House bill slammed the brakes on the Republicans’ legislation process in March, as House Reps keeping an eye on 2018 ran for the hills. The process only regained some steam after Republicans contrived to hatch it in secret meetings, avoiding committees and the press in a rushed way, while tacitly allowing Donald Trump’s manic antics steal the spotlight. Secrecy seemed to be the only way for Republicans to make progress on Trumpcare. The harsh light of a CBO score was too much for the House. The question now is, will it kill the Senate bill?
Several of Politico‘s sources lamented that the Republicans’ only response to the damning analysis of their bill was to try to discredit the CBO.
Republican budget experts have bemoaned those attacks. “Should Republicans take CBO seriously? Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, they have no choice,” said Bill Hoagland, who was an early employee of the budget office and later worked for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). “The rules and procedures under the Budget Act require that cost estimates be prepared by CBO.”
Doug Holtz-Eakin, a former head of the CBO and the leader of the conservative American Action Forum, says he’s upset by some of the criticism but understands where it comes from, too.
“I believe it’s reasonable for people to disagree where CBO comes down sometimes,” Holtz-Eakin said. “I don’t like it when people attack the integrity of CBO or somehow accuse them of tilting the playing field. But they’re just going to struggle with this. They are.”
The CBO is a non-partisan analysis office that dispassionately weighs how bills affect the budget. Discrediting its work is like attacking the referee. It’s there to keep everyone honest, not to serve a particular agenda, as budget experts across the political spectrum will attest. That today’s Republicans in Congress have painted themselves into a corner where their only way of trying to sound reasonable is to attack the CBO speaks volumes about how radical their agenda is.
Featured image via Creative Commons
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