CBO estimates 22 million more uninsured by 2026 under Senate health plan

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 22 million more people will be uninsured by the end of the next 10 years under the Senate Republican health care plan than under current law.

The number, which is only a slight improvement from the CBO’s estimate of the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives in May, comes in the office’s analysis of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a draft of which was released last week. The act, which faces opposition from Democrats and at least five Republicans in the Senate, would further result in a reducing the cumulative federal deficit by $321 billion by 2026.

The number of uninsured would increase by 15 million people in 2018 under the Senate plan, as opposed to the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace. That number increases to 19 million in 2020 and to 22 million in 2026.

Less spending on Medicaid, estimated by the CBO to be a 26 percent cut — a point of contention for a number of senators when the plan was released last week — would lead to a 16 percent drop in enrollment for the government-funded program.

The analysis is the first for the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a draft of which was updated Monday. The CBO analysis reflects the changes, including the imposition a waiting period of six months on those who have a break in coverage of at least 63 days. The House of Representatives narrowly passed its version of a health care bill, the American Health Care Act, in early May.

The Senate plan notably eliminates the individual mandate to purchase insurance, though adds the waiting period for lapses, and allows states to opt out of other ACA provisions.

The final CBO review of the AHCA as it passed in the House estimated that 23 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026 than under the current law and that the federal deficit would be reduced by over $119 billion from 2017 to 2026.

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