Colleen Carey, professor of economics at Cornell University and an expert in healthcare regulation, insurance markets and public subsidies, comments on the two main findings in Monday’s congressional review of the American Health Care Act: the impact the bill would have on health insurance coverage and the federal budget.
“The report finds that as soon as next year, 14 million more Americans will be uninsured relative to current law. Portions of the law affecting Medicaid are delayed until 2020; when those are implemented, the number of uninsured rises to 24 million.
“Thus, the new law would completely reverse the historic gains in health insurance coverage of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
“The Congressional Budget Office also finds the law would result in a considerable reduction in federal spending, since many fewer Americans will be receiving premium tax credits or Medicaid.
“About two-thirds of this reduction is offset by lower taxes – the new law repeals PPACA taxes on high-income families as well as a number of taxes levied within the health care industry (e.g., an annual fee on health insurance providers).
“The headline coverage losses are considerably higher than health policy experts expected. Still, the report did not predict that the individual health insurance would become ‘unstable,’ nor did they declare that insurers would refuse to offer plans under the new law. Both of these findings would have meant even greater reductions in coverage.”
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