Key Takeaways From CBO Score of the Republican Health Care Bill

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated their score of the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) this week, prior to its being sent over to the Senate.

This budgetary analysis projects that if passed into law, the AHCA would reduce the number of insured by 23 million, but would decrease the deficit by $119 billion while also reducing federal outlays by $1.1 trillion and federal revenue by $992 billion.

While the score is roughly similar to the score from the original version of the AHCA released on March 23, several modifications to the law occurred since then and were not reflected in earlier estimates.

The new CBO score addresses the effect of allowing states to waive the Affordable Care Act essential health benefit and community rating requirements on premiums in particular.

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CBO’s 23 Million Uninsured Under GOP’ Not What It Seems

Democrats use report from agency with flawed record to slam health plan

Democrats and much of the mainstream news media Wednesday poured cold water on the the House Republicans’ American Health Care Act, citing a report from the Congressional Budget Office that the legislation to begin dismantling Obamacare would result in 23 million uninsured in the next 10 years.

“The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare’s effect on cost and coverage, and they are wrong again,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price countered in a statement.

“In reality, Americans are paying more for fewer health-care choices because of Obamacare, and that’s why the Trump administration is committed to reforming health care.”

House Republicans passed the bill three weeks ago without waiting for the CBO to release a score for the legislation. It replaced an earlier version of the AHCA that the CBO had said would result in 24 million being without insurance.

But the figures of those left without insurance, at least as widely reported, is misleading. It includes nine million already without coverage under Obamacare. The remaining 14 million are made up of those who could potentially lose coverage under the new bill, plus those who take advantage of the AHCA eliminating the mandate to purchase coverage. For the latter group, being allowed to remain uninsured is a positive option. The requirement to be covered under Obamacare or pay a penalty has been an unpopular feature of the present health law.

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CBO: Obamacare Repeal Will Cut Deficit By $119 Billion, Leave 23 Million More Uninsured

The CBO has finally scored the House-passed healthcare bill, H.R.1628 (which as a reminder remains DOA in the Senate), and finds modest improvement relative to its last scoring of the proposed Healthcare bill as of March 23. Here are the apples to apples comparisons with the last proposed version of the bill:

  • Under the House-passed Bill, the US budget deficit would be reduced by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026. This is $31 billion less than the proposed March bill, which would have lowered the deficit by $150 billion.
  • Offsetting the smaller benefit on the deficit, the CBO found that the number of Americans expected to lose their health coverage would rise to 23 million in 2026, which is 1 million fewer than the 24 million forecast in March, or roughly $31 billion in spending over 10 years to provide 1 million Americans with insurance over the same time period.
  • The CBO concludes that 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 last CBO estimate, the number of Americans wihtout insurance in 2026 was 52 million of Americans under 65, so an improvement of 1 million as expected.

Below is the “bridge” of the budget deficit reduction from the CBO:

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Donald Trump’s Budget Will Only Work With The Biggest Technology Boom Since World War II 

One of the most revealing things in US president Donald Trump’s budget proposal, due out today, is its extravagant assumptions about economic growth. Even a budget few expect to be enacted needed a behind-the-scenes boost to deliver plausible results, as it effectively assumes a technological revolution bigger than any since World War II.

In order to deliver both massive tax cuts and end US borrowing within the decade, Trump’s budget forecasts the US economy will grow at a real rate of more than 3%. And if you question that assumption, administration officials suggest you’re simply being unpatriotic.

Non-partisan, experienced forecasters like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Federal Reserve are predicting real GDP growth ratesbelow 2% in the next few years, in line with recent experience:

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Obama Holdover Colluded With Unions To Pressure Congress On Budget Cuts

An Obama administration appointee with deep ties to labor unions promoted a grassroots campaign to reverse the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate funding for the federal regulatory board he sits on.

The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained emails that show Chemical Safety Board (CSB) member Rick Engler worked with union activists to promote a grassroots campaign to keep the agency from losing its funding.

President Donald Trump’s “skinny” budget, released in March, called for eliminating the CSB, which began operating in 1998. Engler and labor union activists quickly worked to try and protect the board’s nearly $12 million budget.

Engler’s emails further raise concerns about the CSB’s impartiality. E&E News obtained emails in September, which showed Engler working with the Steelworkers union to push new regulations for refineries in California.

The correspondence raised “questions about whether the agency has transformed from a fact-finding entity into an advocacy organization, and it exposes tense internal politics that could threaten the agency’s mission and work,” E&E News reported.

Engler worked with the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC), a group he founded in the late 1980s, to get activists to urge lawmakers to save CSB’s funding, according to documents TheDCNF reviewed….continue reading

House May Be Forced To Vote Again On GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Bill

  • Two weeks after passage, measure still not sent to Senate
  • CBO report could force Ryan, other party leaders into redo

House Republicans barely managed to pass their Obamacare repeal bill earlier this month, and they now face the possibility of having to vote again on their controversial health measure.

House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t yet sent the bill to the Senate because there’s a chance that parts of it may need to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects. House leaders want to make sure the bill conforms with Senate rules for reconciliation, a mechanism that allows Senate Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority.

Republicans had rushed to vote on the health bill so the Senate could get a quick start on it, even before the CBO had finished analyzing a series of last-minute changes. The CBO is expected to release an updated estimate next week….continue reading

 

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