The Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday that nearly 24 million would lose their health insurance if the Republican's replacement to the Affordable Care Act passes as law. The plan has been endorsed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump.
According to the CBO, 14 million Americans would likely lose their plan by 2018 under the bill titled the "American Health Care Act." By 2026, up to 24 million could be uninsured.
But the CBO also projects that the plan would allow the federal government to save $337 billion over the course of the next decade. While nearly $900 billion would be cut in federal revenue from 2017 through 2026, $1.2 trillion would be saved in federal spending, the CBO says.
Without subsidies, some could see a substantial increase in premiums. For instance, the CBO projects that a 64-year-old making $26,500 a year would spend 55 percent of their annual income on insurance under the GOP plan in 2026. If Obamacare's provisions would continue through 2026, that person would pay 6 percent of their annual pay.
The CBO is an apolitical federal agency within the legislative branch that helps members of Congress analyze legislation.
The American Health Care Act is the Republicans' alternative to the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — which was enacted by President Barack Obama. The new GOP plan would keep some of Obamacare's provisions, such as allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health care plan. Like Obamacare, the new GOP plan also prohibits insurance companies from barring high-risk patients from purchasing insurance.
The $1.2 trillion saved by the GOP's plan would mostly come from reductions to Medicaid and subsidies for private insurance. This money was used to help low-income policy holders purchase insurance either through Medicaid or from private insurance companies.
The CBO also projects that insurance premiums would continue to increase for the next three years under the plan. This has been attributed to Republicans striking the individual mandate, mandating people to purchase health care or face a penalty. The CBO says that removing the individual mandate would cause relatively healthy people to opt not to purchase insurance.
The legislation would tend to increase average premiums in the nongroup market prior to 2020 and lower average premiums thereafter, relative to projections under current law. In 2018 and 2019, according to CBO and JCT’s estimates, average premiums for single policyholders in the nongroup market would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher than under current law, mainly because the individual mandate penalties would be eliminated, inducing fewer comparatively healthy people to sign up. - The Congressional Budge Office
However, consumers would start to see some savings after 2020. The CBO projects that by 2026, average premiums for policy holders would be roughly 10 percent lower than under current law.
Ryan defended the law in a statement.
"This report confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and improve access to quality, affordable care. CBO also finds that this legislation will provide massive tax relief, dramatically reduce the deficit, and make the most fundamental entitlement reform in more than a generation," Ryan said.
The CBO says that how the public responds to the legislation causes some uncertainty in the office's projections.