Ryan needs to head back to the drawing board. He can’t just take Obamacare, erase a few parts and call it good. That’s lazy. He knows it. Now go back and make a plan that will actually work.
By Stephanie Armour and Kristina Peterson
A Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 24 million more people without insurance in 2026 compared with current law, an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found.
The legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion through 2026, in large part because it would lower federal spending for Medicaid and end tax credits now provided to people on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, according to the report, which was released Monday.
The long-awaited analysis is likely to inflame the debate and pose the first significant test for Republicans trying to topple the Affordable Care Act. It could imperil the legislation’s changes in the Senate, where some moderate Republicans already are wary of supporting measures that strip too many people of their health insurance.
The report, by the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, said the number of insured would drop in part because of people opting to go without coverage once the requirement that most Americans have coverage or pay a penalty is repealed. Higher premiums would also prompt some people to opt to go without insurance.
Premiums in the individual market would tend to increase before 2020, rising up to 20% higher than under the ACA, in large part because of the demise of the penalty for not having coverage, based on the report. Premiums would then go down: In 2026, the average premiums for a single person in the individual market would be about 10% lower than under the health law now, the analysis found.
Republicans have been pitching their overhaul of the health law as a cure for high prices under the ACA, asserting that the proposal would drive down costs by encouraging competition and giving people more choice. To achieve that, GOP members aim to relax the requirement that insurers provide a certain array of benefits, allowing them to offer less generous plans that cost less, among other changes.
President Donald Trump has also said he would work to make it easier for insurers to sell plans across state lines, arguing that the competition would also drive down premiums.