The Senate Republican health care bill would cause an estimated 22 million people to lose their health insurance and lower the federal deficit by $321 billion over the next decade, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Its evaluation could complicate plans for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who wants to hold a vote on the legislation this week.
The AMA said it was especially concerned with a proposal to put the Medicaid healthcare programme for the poor on a budget, saying this could “fail to take into account unanticipated costs of new medical innovations or the fiscal impact of public health epidemics, such as the crisis of opioid abuse now ravaging our nation”.
On Thursday, Republicans Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee and Rand Paul said they were “not ready to vote for this bill”, but were “open to negotiation”.
The AMA, in a letter to Senate leaders today, said the Senate bill violated the doctors’ precept of “first, do no harm”. “So that’s what I’m really suspicious of as we get closer to Monday are they going to do special deals for Senators in particular states to get their vote”.
Late Monday, the White House said the CBO projection “must not be trusted blindly”. Four other Republican senators have complained that the bill doesn’t go far enough in rolling back the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
It said the office has a “history of inaccuracy”, and cited its “flawed report on coverage, premiums and predicted deficit arising out of Obamacare”. He expressed confidence that the new measure would pass the Senate. That could win over unhappy moderates but risk alienating conservatives eager to curb federal spending.
However, more Americans would lose health insurance in the short run under the Senate bill as it stands: an estimated 15 million fewer Americans would have coverage in 2018, compared to 14 million under the House bill. President Trump encouraged that, calling the House bill “mean” in a private meeting earlier this month, something he confirmed in an interview with Fox News this weekend, adding that he wanted to “see a bill with heart”.
“For weeks Senate Republicans tried to tell us that their bill would be better than the House bill”, he said at a press conference. That could be a particular concern to Sen.
That is a problem for Republican Sen.
By 2020, the number of additional uninsured would grow to 19 million, and finally to 22 million by 2026, according to the CBO.
That is a tough pill for moderate Republicans, who will be under enormous pressure from their constituents to vote against the bill.
“They’ve been wildly off by a huge percentage when they’ve tried to score people”, Spicer said. Those ages are just shy of when people begin qualifying for Medicare coverage.
“A combination of factors would lead to that decrease – most important, the smaller share of benefits paid for by the benchmark plans and federal funds provided to directly reduce premiums”, the CBO said. McConnell is expected to offer other changes to his proposal as he seeks to nail down support for the package.
It would “increase the number of uninsured substantially”, the CBO found.
Insurers are already withdrawing from some markets under current law. Medicaid spending to the states would be set to the consumer price index, an even lower growth rate than what was passed in the House version of the legislation. And it would put annual caps on overall Medicaid money the government until now has automatically paid states, whatever the costs. And markets with few purchasers are less profitable for insurers.
However, President Donald Trump has discussed ending these payments. All they do is delay and complain. The budget office said its estimate included the impact of that addition. The reduction comes from steep cuts to Medicaid.