The CBO, Congressional Budget Office, gave their analysis of the recently House-passed bill aiming to repeal and replace Obamacare, the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
The most recent report found that the AHCA would
- reduce the deficit by $119 million
- cost 23 million Americans to lose their coverage by 2026
- lowers premiums from current Obamacare/ACA prices
The bill needs to be approved by the Senate. In order for it to pass it needs to comply with the following:
– Not increase the federal deficit beyond a 10 year window
– Save at least $2 billion dollars as overseen by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. If so, this allows Republicans to use budget reconciliation, a budgetary rule that enables them to avoid a Senate Democratic filibuster and pass their bill with only 51 votes rather than a 60 vote majority.
– not cause “millions” of Americans to “lose” their healthcare.
The last CBO analysis of the AHCA found it to potentially cause 24 million Americans to lose coverage, a point debated as Medicaid expansion and federal funds were to slowly regress as the economy improved.
The CBO also estimated that insurance premiums would RISE 750% with the previous GOP version to repeal and replace Obamacare. This plan appears to LOWER insurance premiums.
Before amendments needed to be made to ensure passage, the original AHCA wanted to implement the following :
- Eliminate the tax penalties, “individual mandate” and “employer mandate” imposed on those who don’t purchase health insurance for themselves or employees.
- Tax credits will be based on age rather than income ranging from $2000/year for those younger than 30 to $4,000 a year to those who are older than 60. A family would receive up to $14,000 in tax credits a year. These tax credits would start phasing out when income becomes $75K individually or $150K as a family. For every $1,000 in earnings above those thresholds, the value of the credit phases down by $100.
- Allow insurance companies to charge a 30% surcharge to those who have gaps in insurance longer than 63 days.
- Maintain coverage, preventing denial, to those with pre-existing conditions
- Maintain coverage for children under age 26 who wish to stay on their parent’s plans.
- Maintaing the bans on caps on annual or lifetime coverage
- By 2020, ACA promised federal funds for Medicaid expansion will stop. Funds will continue for current Medicaid recipients
- Create a Patient and State Stability Fund, which provides states $100 billion to use as they wish for their underserved populations, hospitals, providers or programs that would provide direct care.
- States will receive money for Medicaid in a lump sum per person rather than an open-ended promise of funds.
- Taxes on medical device industry will expire as will those on pharmaceutical companies and indoor tanning services.
- Planned Parenthood is “defunded” as AHCA funds cannot be used to pay for services at their clinics.
- HRA increase – starting in 2018 individuals could contribute pretax dollars to their Health Savings Account up to $6550 individually and families up to $13,100.