The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday projected a Republican backup healthcare plan would leave millions more uninsured in the coming years and hike premiums significantly.
The Republican legislation, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act and give Republicans time to work out a replacement, is a near-identical copy to the 2015 repeal-only bill vetoed by President Barack Obama. It has been advanced as an alternative to the stalled Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would repeal and replace the law known as Obamacare.
According to the CBO, the bill — the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA) — would leave 17 million more Americans without healthcare insurance in 2018 compared to the current system. That would ramp up to 27 million more uninsured by 2020 and 32 million more uninsured by 2026.
The numbers were similar to the projections the last time Republicans advanced the legislation in 2015.
Under the ORRA, repeal would not kick in until 2020 but would then go into effect immediately, rather than phasing out Obamacare's provisions. The CBO score does not take into account any replacement that may be passed during that two-year period.
According to the CBO, the impact on premiums would be similarly devastating.
"Average premiums in the non-group market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by roughly 25% — relative to projections under current law — in 2018," said the report. "The increase would reach about 50% in 2020, and premiums would about double by 2026."
The bill would also decrease the federal deficit by $473 billion by 2026, while cutting Medicaid spending by $842 billion in that same timeframe.
Republicans are trying to revive their healthcare push in a meeting Wednesday night where both the ORRA and the Better Care Reconciliation Act will be considered.
A number of members already expressed concerns over the coverage losses in the BCRA, which were projected to be 22 million by 2026.
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