Here's What the GOP Bill Does to Obamacare's 'Essential Health Benefits'

Here's What the GOP Bill Does to Obamacare's 'Essential Health Benefits'

The nonpartisan CBO estimated Wednesday that 23 million people would lose health coverage by 2026 under the AHCA, which House Republicans passed earlier this month on a 217-213 vote.

In states where about a sixth of the population lives, the CBO economists projected, coverage would become pricey as insurance companies went back to the practice of charging far more for pre-existing conditions and far more for older people.

The budget office said older people with lower income would disproportionately lose coverage. "I can not support a plan that results in 14 million people losing health care coverage next year, cuts $834 billion from Medicaid, significantly reduces the critical subsidies that tens of thousands of West Virginians rely on and ultimately reduces health care access for thousands more".

The Medicaid provisions of the bill will finally get some serious scrutiny in the Senate, where the speed in shutting down the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion is of great interest to senators - including 20 Republicans - who represent states that exercised that option. "Senate Republicans have made it clear that they will be starting from scratch as they develop a bill".

Despite the forecast of many uninsured, House Speaker Paul Ryan hailed the report as "another positive step toward keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare". The last budget office report said the House bill would cut Medicaid by $839 billion over 10 years.

Neal did not respond to a follow-up email asking if Jenkins' statement meant he would support a preliminary bill that does not protect the most vulnerable West Virginians or of it was an acknowledgment that the House-passed bill does not protect those people.

The report could give talking points to House Republicans for their bill, or to Democrats who voted unanimously against it.

The budget office concluded that on average, premiums for people buying their own insurance would eventually be lower than under Obama's 2010 law under the House bill. Such a market would be similar to the nongroup market before the enactment of the ACA, in which premiums were underwritten and plans often included high deductibles and limits on insurers' payments and people with high expected medical costs were often unable to obtain coverage.

There will be 14 million people that will no longer be covered under Medicaid.

That is because some states would seek waivers from health-care market rules that would allow healthy people to segregate themselves in their own affordable risk pool, leaving sicker people with skyrocketing costs.

But two small-business groups, the Main Street Alliance and the Small Business Majority, said the bill could hurt their members, many of whom rely on the individual insurance market for their coverage.

"In particular, out-of-pocket spending on maternity care and mental health and substance abuse services could increase by thousands of dollars in a given year", according to the CBO report released Wednesday.

The CBO looks to states' past behavior to predict whether they would take up a waiver from the essential health benefits requirement and the community rating protection. But while premiums will be lower, the plans will offer less coverage, because they won't be required to cover things like emergency services or prescription drugs, depending on what rules each state decides on.

Twenty-three million fewer Americans will have insurance by 2026 under the House-approved bill, which is hardly better than the 24 million in coverage losses predicted under the initial version. Citing markets where insurers have left or sought huge premium increases, Republicans have repeatedly said the statute must be dismantled because it is in a death spiral.

The subsidies that help low-income Americans purchase insurance premiums under Obamacare would be replaced by tax credits under the new measure, beginning in 2020.



Other news