The Congressional Budgeting Office Monday released its assessment of the Republican replacement bill for Obamacare, called the "American Health Care Act," and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) is beating them like a piñata over it. She made the comments at a press conference Monday.
Using the CBO report, Pelosi slammed the bill that would be, as she put it, "taking 24 million people and pushing them off their coverage. And as they do so, they're implementing the biggest transfer for wealth in our history, $600 billion gone from working families to the richest people and corporations in our country. So in terms of insurance coverage, it's immoral, in terms of giving money to the rich at the expense of working families, it is indecent and wrong."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 13, 2017
The budget office report estimates that 14 million Americans would end up without coverage next year, and 24 million by 2026. But as many on social media have noted, the mainstream media is portraying this much the same way Pelosi is, as if the bill would "push them off their coverage." More accurately, many of those millions are people who simply would choose to not have coverage when given the choice, instead of being forced to have it under the current system.
The report says also that the American Health Care Act would reduced the federal deficit by $337 billion over ten years. Premiums would jump by 20% in the next two years, but would drop overall by 10% by 2026 compared to the current system.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price disagreed with the assessment, saying, "it's just not believable."
There are eight million people, eight-nine million people, who are on the exchange currently. I'm not sure how they are gonna get to 14 million people uninsured, if that's what they say with only 8 million people on the exchange.
They're individuals, I guess, they assume that are on medicaid who aren't paying anything into the medicaid system, who are not going to take the medicaid policy, just because the mandate ended, or something happened.
"It's just not believable is what we would suggest," Price concluded, "and we'll look at the numbers and see."
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 13, 2017
CNN broke down the numbers on who would "lose" health insurance coverage.
The CBO, along with the Joint Committee on Taxation, found that 5 million fewer people would be covered under Medicaid by 2018, and 14 million fewer people would enroll in the program by 2026. Meanwhile, 6 million fewer Americans would be covered in the individual market by 2018, but by 2026, only 2 million fewer people are expected to be covered. That's in part because fewer employers would offer insurance to their workers, driving more people to the individual market.
The fate of the Republican Obamacare replacement bill is still up in the air as it's being assailed by the left, who want to keep Obamacare in place, and also criticized by conservative Republicans, who say it's just "Obamacare lite," and doesn't replace Obama's signature legislation enough. President Trump has backed the plan enthusiastically, while some commentators say if it doesn't pass, it might threaten his entire presidency.