23 Million Americans Uninsured under House AHCA, CBO Reports

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their updated score on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017, passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, which considers provisions included in the MacArthur Amendment.

The CBO estimates 14 million more individuals would be uninsured in 2018, 19 million in 2020, growing to 23 million in 2026. The number of uninsured changed only slightly compared to the CBO score in March, which estimated 14 million more individuals would be uninsured in 2018, 21 million in 2020 and 24 million by 2026.

The most recent amendments fall short of significantly reducing the number of individuals that would become uninsured and yet now would allow states to opt out of essential health benefits and restrict coverage by offering higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions. In addition, young healthy individuals would likely benefit from premium savings, at the expense of older individuals.

In response to the release of the CBO score, House Republican Leadership praised the AHCA for lowering premiums and the federal deficit. The Administration – Secretary Price in particular – disagreed with the accuracy of the CBO score, stating “…they are wrong again”.

Senate Republicans provided early indications that they would not be supporting the AHCA in its current form; however, with the release of the CBO score, they will face continued scrutiny and pressure to devise a plan that preserves coverage for Americans, among other key considerations.