Analysis of GOP healthcare bill: 23 million more uninsured, skimpier coverage, higher deductibles


The Republican healthcare bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of people in the U.S. without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The much-anticipated report cast a new shadow over the controversial legislation and likely will complicate Republican efforts to get the bill through the Senate, where it already faces difficult prospects.

Under the House GOP plan, almost one-in-five people under age 65 would be uninsured under the House bill by 2026, compared to 10% under Obamacare, according to the CBO. That is in part because consumers would no longer be required to have insurance and in part because millions of Americans would lose assistance that now allows them to afford coverage.

The scale of those coverage losses has troubled some Senate Republicans, who have argued that their legislation rolling back the current law should protect more vulnerable Americans.

The new CBO report may strengthen this position, largely held by GOP lawmakers from states that have expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, including Ohio, West Virginia, Louisiana and Arizona.

What effect the report will have on the Senate Republican discussions remains unclear, however: All the debate is taking place behind closed doors.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is leading the effort, has elected not develop healthcare legislation through the traditional process of holding public hearings and debating amendments in committee.

The House bill leaves Senate Republicans without many options as they try to both follow through on their promises to cut taxes and preserve coverage for millions of Americans.

In an interview Wednesday with Reuters, before the budget office report was released, McConnell offered a downbeat assessment of the health bill’s chances of winning a majority in the Senate.

“I don’t know how we get to 50 (votes) at the moment,” he said. “But that’s the goal.”

noam.levey@latimes.com

@noamlevey

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UPDATES:

2:40 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details from the CBO report and reaction.

It was originally published at 1:34 p.m.

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Analysis of GOP healthcare bill: 23 million more uninsured, skimpier coverage, higher deductibles

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