By Robert A. Vella
The Congressional Budget Office has released its analysis of the latest GOP bill to repeal Obamacare; which, was conveniently and hurriedly passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives without waiting for the CBO report.
That’s how many fewer people would be insured under Republicans’ health-care plan than are insured by Obamacare now, according to the CBO’s new estimate.
Watch for: This is barely different than the CBO’s first estimate in March, which estimated that 24 million people would lose insurance over the next decade.
That’s not good for this bill’s chances. The 24 million number is a big reason the first bill never came up for a vote in the House: Moderate Republicans couldn’t vote for a bill that meant more people would lose their insurance than gained it under Obamacare (about 20 million).
In general, the older and poorer you are, the higher your premiums would be under the American Health Care Act compared with current law.
The CBO offers an example of a single individual with an annual income of $26,500.
If that person is 21 years old, he could benefit from the Republican health care bill. Under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), he would on average pay $1,700 in premiums for insurance. Under the Republican plan, he would pay $1,250 if he’s in a state that accepts regulatory waivers and makes moderate changes to market rules — although, again, this also means his health plan would likely be skimpier. If his state doesn’t take up a waiver, his premium would actually increase by $50 to $1,750.
But if that person is 64 years old, he would be hurt by the Republican bill. Under Obamacare, he would also pay $1,700 in premiums for insurance. But under the Republican bill, he would pay $16,100 (about 60 percent of his annual income) if he lives in a state that doesn’t accept regulatory waivers, and $13,600 — still more than half his annual income — if he lives in a state that does adopt waivers to make moderate rule changes. That amounts to as much as an 850 percent increase in premiums from Obamacare to the Republican bill.