CBO report rips GOP health bill

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A lot more. The Affordable Care Act imposed a range of taxes, including a special Medicare surcharge on high earners, to pay for these costs.

Under the American Health Care Act, some people, the CBO says, would not be able to buy full health insurance at premiums comparable to those under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

That was a knock on 11th-hour changes Republicans made in the bill to gain conservatives' votes by letting states get waivers to boost premiums on the ill and reduce coverage requirements.

The report said older people with lower income would disproportionately lose coverage.

The bill is expected to lead to 23 million more people becoming uninsured by 2026 than would be the case if Obamacare remained intact.

Senate Republicans plan to return from a week-long holiday recess with a partial draft of a bill to overhaul the country's health-care laws, the Washington Post writes.

Three weeks after the House narrowly approved the measure with GOP-only votes and after several embarrassing setbacks, Republican senators said they'd move in their own direction and dismissed the report's impact. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a key swing vote in the Senate, said that "Congress's focus must be to lower premiums with coverage which passes the Jimmy Kimmel test", referring to the late-night host's tearful monologue about the health problems of his newborn son. Schumer said the legislation would end up "causing costs to skyrocket, making coverage unaffordable for those with pre-existing conditions and many seniors, and kicking millions off of their health insurance".

But for the second time now, one of the nation's most authoritative voices has confirmed that the GOP's American Health Care Act (AHCA) would be a disastrous step backward when it comes to cost and quality coverage, particularly for older and sicker Americans.

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On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its second analysis of the AHCA. That's $30 billion less than the first version.

States could also get waivers that would allow insurers to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions, a practice banned under the ACA.

State waivers. The CBO looked closely at the potential effects of an amendment to the AHCA written by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R.

The budget office projected that premiums in those states would be lower for healthy people than under current law because their coverage would be narrower, but did not estimate an amount.

The Medicaid expansions that have taken place in 32 states and the District of Columbia under the ACA have been crucial for expanding access to health insurance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, people living with HIV (PLWH), and Black and Latino people.

"Services or benefits likely to be excluded from [essential health benefits] in some states include maternity care, mental health and substance abuse benefits, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and pediatric dental benefits", the report said. It said consumers' out-of-pocket costs for those services "could increase by thousands of dollars in a given year for the (patients) who use those services".

About half the people who buy individual health insurance policies are subsidized under Obama's health law, but the rest are not, and many have faced stiff premium increases.

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