What to know about AHCA & CBO Predictions


President Trump is looking to check off another promise from his campaign to-do list– repeal and replace Obamacare. Last Monday, with the announcement of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Trump administration and the majority of the Republican Congress debuted their plan. Below is a brief summary of what is staying from the Affordable Care Act and what Republicans plan to change:

2010 ACA

2017 AHCA

Stay on parents’ plan until 26   Check mark symbol
Pre-existing condition coverage   Check mark symbol
Lifetime limits ban  Check mark symbol
Tax subsidies  Check mark symbol *however, tax subsidies will be based on age and income
Medicaid expansion  Check mark symbol *however, AHCA stops adding new people in 2020 for medicaid

The bill struck down Obamacare’s mandate for Americans to have health insurance by getting rid of tax penalties for people who do not purchase healthcare.The new government would help people pay for coverage with age and income-based tax credits. The AHCA would also pull back on funding for Medicaid starting in 2020.

Those are the main differences, but what does this really mean? Late in the afternoon on March 13, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office issued a cost estimate on the House Republican leadership’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). CBO projects that, if AHCA is enacted, the number of uninsured would grow by 24 million, from 28 to 52 million by 2026. AHCA would reduce the budget deficit by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period, mainly by cutting: 1) Medicaid by $880 billion 2) The current Affordable Care Act means-tested tax credits and 3) the cost-sharing reduction payment by $673 billion. Meanwhile, the bill would cut taxes by $883 billion.

Premiums in the individual market would be on average 15 to 20 percent higher in 2018 and 2019 than under current law. By 2026, however, they would be 10 percent lower than if Obamacare persisted.

After the report’s release, the Trump administration quickly criticized its conclusions, indicating it does not take into account other administrative actions it plans to take after the bill is passed.

Democrats criticized the estimated rise in uninsured people and raised concerns that seniors would see the brunt of the cost increases. House Speaker Paul Ryan, on the other hand, highlighted its estimated effect on the deficit and maintained that it would increase consumer choice and bring down costs.

Many lawmakers have been waiting for this CBO report to decide whether or not to vote for this bill. Now that it’s out, expect the GOP to be on the defensive.

by Carolina Diaz on March 16, 2017

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