The Obamacare repeal bill, the American Health Care Act, was marched through congressional committees without any analysis to guide lawmakers, leaving them blind as to what the bill would do to the budget, insurance markets, coverage, premiums and more. On Monday, however, the Congressional Budget Office issued its report, finally casting light on exactly what a partial repeal would do.
24 million more uninsured by 2026 vs. Obamacare
The most anticipated number is how many people would lose coverage under the American Health Care Act versus the current Affordable Care Act. It’s a big number. In 2018, the CBO estimates 14 million more people will be uninsured. Many of these people will lose their insurance voluntarily without the current individual mandate, but the numbers will begin to climb soon after because of lost subsidies. In 2020, 21 million more people who would have insurance under Obamacare would be uninsured with this plan, and in 2026, 24 million. These numbers are big—9 million more than Brooking’s 10-year estimates.
52 million uninsured by 2026
By 2026, the CBO estimates that a total of 52 million Americans would be uninsured. Under Obamacare, 28 million people would be uninsured in 2026.
$337 billion decrease in the deficit
Obamacare was largely funded by new taxes for wealthier Americans and many have wondered whether the tax cut from a repeal would neutralize any spending cuts and add to the deficit. However, the CBO analysis says that the federal deficit would decrease by $337 billion over the next 10 years, stemming mostly from curbing Medicaid and subsidies for consumers buying insurance on the individual market. This number would ostensibly be used by some Republicans in support of the bill’s passage.
15% to 20% premium hikes
In 2018 and 2019 the CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation analyze that individuals buying insurance on the market will see premiums go up significantly, around 15% to 20%, thanks to healthy people dropping out with no mandate.
The year the premium hikes will stop being more expensive than Obamacare. By 2026, the CBO says, average premiums will be 10% lower than they would be under current law.