March 13, 2017

The long-awaited CBO report is out, and it's bad for everyone, but especially bad for any Republican who votes for this train wreck.

The toplines of the report are this:

  • 24 million more uninsured, with at least half losing Medicaid coverage
  • Paltry budget savings over 10 years -- $337 billion
  • Higher coverage costs for older people, though it's likely the younger people will see a decrease.

In 2018, the next time any Republicans are up for re-election, 14 million will already be tossed off the rolls. By 2026, that number climbs to 24 million. The initial decrease is mostly due to people opting out of insurance coverage.

CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.

Later, following additional changes to subsidies for insurance purchased in the nongroup market and to the Medicaid program, the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026. The reductions in insurance coverage between 2018 and 2026 would stem in large part from changes in Medicaid enrollment—because some states would discontinue their expansion of eligibility, some states that would have expanded eligibilityin the future would choose not to do so, and per-enrollee spending in the program would becapped. In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.

Here's the problem with this report. There are numbers for them to spin. The CBO estimates that because younger people will have a reduction in premium costs at the expense of older people, enough younger people will come into the markets to stabilize them. Color me doubtful about that, but that's the argument they'll use to justify screwing Trump voters out of affordable health insurance.

The overarching message here is one that must reach above the spin: 24 million people will lose their access to health care, we will go back to the days before the ACA when medical bankruptcies were how people lost everything when they got sick.

After all, it's pretty easy to claim a budget reduction when you're insuring fewer people, right?

Update: This will go under our Broken Promises category, because here is what Trump promised, and never walked back:

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