The Congressional Budget Office has released its score of the American Health Care Act, an Obamacare replacement plan passed by the House in April and currently being considered in the Senate.
On insurance coverage:
CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under H.R. 1628 than under current law. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026. In 2026, an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law. Under the legislation, a few million of those people would use tax credits to purchase policies that would not cover major medical risks.
Effect on the federal budget and deficit:
CBO and JCT estimate that enacting that version of H.R. 1628 would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $119 billion.
On premium costs:
CBO and JCT projected premiums for single policyholders under H.R. 1628 (before any tax credits were applied) and compared those with the premiums projected under current law for policies purchased in the nongroup market. H.R. 1628, as passed by the House, would tend to increase such premiums before 2020, relative to those under current law—by an average of about 20 percent in 2018 and 5 percent in 2019, as the funding provided by the act to reduce premiums had a larger effect on pricing.
Starting in 2020, however, average premiums would depend in part on any waivers granted to states and on how those waivers were implemented and in part on what share of the funding available from the Patient and State Stability Fund was applied to premium reduction.
Although premiums would decline, on average, in states that chose to narrow the scope of EHBs, some people enrolled in nongroup insurance would experience substantial increases in what they would spend on health care.
The White House is pushing back on the score, arguing the CBO is not a reliable source on predicting insurance coverage or ultimate costs of the legislation. CBO estimates on Obamacare were off by billions of dollars. The number of people predicted to be insured under the legislation were overestimated by 10 million.