CBO: REVISED Trumpcare bill would save half as much money while hurting just as many people even faster.
2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)
Time: D H M S
A couple of weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office projected that Trumpcare 1.0, aka the "American Health Care Act" or AHCA would kick 14 million people off their healthcare coverage next year alone, followed by an additional 10 million getting the boot by 2026. It would, however, save the federal government around $336 billion over that time period, which was pretty much the only positive part of their analysis.
Unfortunately, it also meant that a 64-year old earning $26,500 per year would end up having to spend about 60% of their entire gross income in order to pay for health insurance even after their tax credits.
This didn't go over too well with the "moderate" wing of the House GOP, as the AARP crowd wouldn't stop screaming at them during town halls nationwide. Meanwhile, the "Freedom Caucus" (basically, the ultra-batcrap insane wing as opposed to the only-kinda-insane members) was angry because the Trumpcare bill didn't hurt enough people quickly enough.
In response, Paul Ryan & Co. slapped together a few modifications to the bill, including a vague instruction to the Senate to cough up $85 billion to throw at older people to get them to shut up...while also trying to mollify the Freedom Caucus members by moving up the "kick people off Medicaid" date by two years, killing off the taxes used to fund the whole program a year earlier and so forth.
Well, moments ago...just an hour or so after the GOP delayed their much-heralded vote to "repeal Obamacare"...the CBO released their revised Trumpcare score which includes the latest changes.
Effects on the Federal Budget
CBO and JCT estimate that enacting H.R. 1628, with the proposed amendments, would reduce federal deficits by $150 billion over the 2017-2026 period; that reduction is the net result of a $1,150 billion reduction in direct spending, partly offset by a reduction of $999 billion in revenues (see Tables 1 and 2). The provisions dealing with health insurance coverage would reduce deficits, on net, by $883 billion (see Table 3); the noncoverage provisions would increase deficits by $733 billion, mostly by reducing revenues.
Yes, that's right. As I expected, these revisions would wipe out over half of the savings the original version would have.
But perhaps it at least would mean fewer people getting the shaft? Surely that $186 billion would do some good, right?
Effects on Health Insurance Coverage
CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would reach 21 million in 2020 and 24 million in 2026 (see Table 4). In 2026, an estimated 52 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
If that looks familiar, it's because nothing has changed on that end:
Compared with the previous version of the legislation, H.R. 1628, with the proposed amendments, would have similar effects on health insurance coverage: Estimates differ by no more than half a million people in any category in any year over the next decade. (Some differences may appear larger because of rounding.) For example, the decline in Medicaid coverage after 2020 would be smaller than in the previous estimate, mainly because of states’ responses to the faster growth in the per capita allotments for aged, blind, and disabled enrollees—but other changes in Medicaid would offset some of those effects.
The legislation’s impact on health insurance premiums would be approximately the same as estimated for the previous version.
Just as many people screwed...with an additional $186 billion lost. Amazing.