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A new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the Senate’s plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act would have much the same effect as the plan passed in May by the House—drastically changing how Americans get health insurance, especially older, sicker, and poorer people.
Key Findings in the CBO Report
- Millions more will be uninsured. By 2026, 22 million more Americans would be uninsured under the GOP plan than if the ACA remained in place. That’s 1 million fewer than under the House bill, which the CBO analyzed last month. In total, 49 million people in the U.S. will be uninsured by 2026, compared with 28 million under the ACA.
- Medicaid recipients are hit hardest. Fifteen million of the 22 million will be dropping from Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income, disabled, and elderly Americans, as well as children with special needs.
- Premiums will rise quickly but then decline, in part because plans will be skimpier. The CBO estimates that insurance premiums—a major point of dissatisfaction for people now on ACA plans—will rise by an average of 20 percent in 2018 but would be 20 percent lower, on average, in 2026, than premiums would have been under current law. Most of that decline will stem from the fact that insurers will be offering much less comprehensive policies that will require greater out-of-pocket spending by consumers for expenses such as deductibles and co-pays.
- Cutting Medicaid and reducing subsidies will save the government big money. The GOP plan would save the federal government $321 billion over 10 years, mostly by reducing the number of people on Medicaid and changing how the government awards subsidies to people who buy insurance on their own.
Already, an amendment has been added since the legislation was unveiled last week, a provision would lock people out of buying insurance for six months if they lacked…