An estimated 18 million people would lose insurance coverage under the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, a report released Tuesday by the non partisan Congressional Budget Office found. It also found that premiums would increase by 20 to 25 percent.
The report examined how the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which includes eliminating the requirement that every American purchase health insurance as well as the government subsidies that have helped people afford coverage, would impact those who have gotten insurance under the law. That plan, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, was passed by Congress but vetoed by President Barack Obama.
Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace the ACA, Obama’s signature achievement, since it was passed in 2010. With control of both houses of Congress and the White House, the path to do so is clearer than it has ever been. But it remains to be seen exactly how logistically the law will be repealed without causing current enrollees to lose coverage, a promise many Republicans have made of the replacement.
The CBO estimated that 32 million people would lose coverage under the Republican proposal in the next 10 years.
Last week, Congress took the first steps towards dismantling Obamacare when both chambers voted on a budget blueprint that would allow Republicans to dismantle the law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. The votes were procedural steps that start repeal in motion, but did not include details of what a new health care law would look like.
President-elect Donald Trump has committed to repeal and replace, but has not presented a plan that he supports in the law’s place.
“In total, as a result of reduced enrollment, higher average health care costs among remaining enrollees, and lower participation by insurers, CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] project that premiums in the nongroup market would be about 50 percent higher in the first year after the marketplace subsidies were eliminated — relative to projections under current law — and would about double by 2026,” the report found.
It was prepared at the request of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the ranking members of the Senate Committees on Finance (Ron Wyden, D-OR) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (Patty Murray, D-WA).