0330 GMT March 20, 2018
If passed into law, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was introduced by Republicans last week, will leave 24 million more Americans uninsured by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office warned on Monday.
In 2018 alone, the coverage will be removed for as many as 14 million people, who would otherwise be covered under former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which expires in 2019.
"In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law," the CBO projected.
According to the nonpartisan committee, without the Obamacare’s penalties associated with not having insurance, 7 million fewer people would get insurance through their employer by 2026.
Under the new plan, the federal budget deficit would also be slashed by over $300 billion over the next decade, the report noted.
It was also noted in the report that the AHCA would not affect the individual market, meaning that people without insurance from an employer or government program would continue to pay for their insurance. This is not any different from the Obamacare.
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Another key benefit of the Trumpcare, according to the CBO, was that premiums would initially increase but then dramatically fall to the benefit of younger people.
In a statement following the report’s release, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the premium cuts and the decrease in budget deficit shows the AHCA’s high chance for success.
“Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage. It is about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford,” the Wisconsin Republican said.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the plan for increasing the number of uninsured people.
“The CBO score shows just how empty the president's promises, that everyone will be covered and costs will go down, have been. This should be a looming stop sign for the Republicans' repeal effort,” he said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney were quick to attack the CBO.
"We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out," Price said, arguing that the new plan would cover more people by giving them more choices at lower costs.
He also said that it was "virtually impossible" for the number of uninsured people to increase by 14 million next year.