Republican health care policies to hurt poor, elderly

Toni Houston
May 25, 2017

The last budget office report said the House bill would cut Medicaid by $839 billion over 10 years.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York, center, flanked by Sen. Notable among them was a provision that would allow states to opt-out of mandatory coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. "We just want to, out of an abundance of caution, wait to send the bill over to the Senate when we get the final score", House Speaker Paul Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt. The short term, though, doesn't look good either, as the CBO also projects that the bill would cause premiums in the "nongroup market"-for insurance purchased individually on state exchanges-to jump significantly right away". The report also found that 24 million Americans would lose health insurance if Congress passed the AHCA, with a large portion of the loss stemming from Medicaid consumers. But even with the reduced estimate, Democrats ripped the new finding as Republicans planned to march ahead with one of their key policy goals.

"The report makes clear that Trumpcare would be a cancer on the American health care system", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., using the nickname Democrats have tried pinning on the bill.

The CBO released its analysis of the House-passed bill on Wednesday, giving the public an estimate of the impact the measure would have on health coverage, premiums and the nation's budget.

Senate Republicans have been holding closed-door meetings to try writing their own health care overhaul.

The new forecast of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Capitol Hill's official scorekeeper, is another blow to Republican efforts to undo President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

"Today's updated CBO score reaffirms the disturbing reality of Trumpcare: tens of millions of Americans would lose their health insurance and millions more would be forced to pay dramatically more for less coverage", said Rep. Richard Neal of MA, the top Democrat on the House Ways & Means Committee.

Cruz criticized the earlier CBO analysis, which showed premiums would continue to rise for one to two years under the AHCA.

Republicans in the House of Representatives earlier this month narrowly passed the AHCA to replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, before the CBO had a chance to release a report on the bill. The initial bill would have lowered the deficits by $150 billion, but lawmakers added back in more money to a stability fund for states to deal with costly enrollees, CNN reported, meaning less federal savings but more opportunity for those seeking coverage.

The bill still contains nearly $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy. Nearly all the budgetary savings-an estimated $834 billion, most of which is canceled out by other elements of the bill-come from changes to Medicaid, the joint federal-state program to provide health coverage for the poor, including a major provision of the AHCA that would allow states to handle more Medicaid decision-making.

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