(NationalSentinel) Healthcare: The Congressional Budget Office has released its awaited assessment of the American Health Care Act, the bill being touted by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the “first phase” of the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. The verdict? Mixed.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, there are some things to love about the assessment and some things not to love:
The Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would result in 14 million more people without health coverage next year but reduce federal spending by $337 billion compared to current law, according to an estimate Monday from Congress’ official scorekeeper.
About 24 million people would lose coverage over the next decade under the American Health Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. But the plan would reduce taxes by $883 billion over the next decade.
HHS Secretary Tom Price is panning the CBO assessment as “not believable” and “simply wrong,” but hang on there a minute, Tom. Not everything in this assessment is bad.
What’s good? The fact that Americans will be taxed close to a trillion dollars less than they otherwise would be over the next 10 years under Obamacare. In addition, with the Medicaid subsidies going away, that means less debt will be added to the $20 trillion our kids and grandkids already owe.
And that part about fewer people being covered under the GOP plan? So what? The thing to remember is, despite the grand expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, some 29 million Americans still aren’t covered under the Affordable Care Act. And remember that was a key promise President Obama and Democrats pushing the ACA made, is that finally, after all these centuries, every single American would have health insurance.
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And that might have actually happened, were it not for the grossly negligent impact Obamacare had on the insurance and health care markets: The dramatic spikes in out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, premiums, etc.) coupled with less actual coverage meant that tens of millions of mostly healthy Americans opted out of buying a plan altogether and instead took the year-end penalty by the IRS because they were thousands of dollars ahead.
Recognizing that the GOP replacement plan also won’t cover all Americans is merely acknowledging reality. And the fact is, truth be told, more Americans are much more interested in dramatic rate decreases, insurance company choice and other savings that the AHCA will bring about; they’re not sitting around fretting about those who, for whatever reason, don’t obtain coverage.
Because that’s been one of the biggest problems of all regarding Obamacare – that it forces Americans to buy a product they might otherwise choose not to buy, and it forces them to do pay inflated prices for a substandard product.
Finally, CBO noted that most of those who would choose not to obtain health insurance coverage under the GOP replacement legislation “would tend to be healthier than those who would not be deterred” – which is precisely what is happening right now under Obamacare.
This analysis isn’t as bad as it may appear on the surface, and frankly Republicans interested in repealing Obamacare ought not be deterred by its findings.