CBO claims 18 million will lose insurance if Obamacare is repealed
The Congressional Budget Office released a report claiming that 18 million people would lose their Obamacare insurance if the law is repealed and that premiums will rise 20-25%.
Oh...did I mention that those scare numbers would be realized if the GOP Congress failed to enact a replacement?
The report, which was requested by Democrats,could complicate Republican efforts to repeal the health law and is likely to reignite a long fight between GOP lawmakers and the CBO over ObamaCare.
The CBO examined a 2015 repeal bill authored by Republicans that would have eliminated ObamaCare's penalties and subsidies while leaving the insurance market reforms in place. President Obama vetoed that legislation when it reached his desk.
President-elect Donald Trump and the GOP have made repealing ObamaCare their first priority for 2017, but have not said what parts of the law they will leave in place or what a replacement plan will look like. It's also unclear what parts of the 2015 bill they will use.
However, if they were to pass the 2015 legislation again, 18 million people would become uninsured in the first new plan year following the enactment of the bill, the CBO estimates.
Most of the reductions in coverage would stem from repealing the penalty for not having health insurance, the CBO estimates, because people would just drop their insurance plans.
Other people would become uninsured because of insurance companies leaving the ObamaCare market in anticipation of enrollment reductions and higher costs.
After the elimination of ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies, 27 million people would lose insurance, and then 32 million in 2026, the CBO found.
Democrats seized on the report to argue that the GOP ObamaCare repeal effort would be devastating to people who rely on it for health insurance.
“Nonpartisan statistics don’t lie: it’s crystal clear that the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act will increase health care costs for millions of Americans and kick millions more off of their health insurance," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
"The numbers are even worse than experts could have imagined: tens of millions will lose their health insurance, and individuals will see their premiums double. This is exactly why Republican members of Congress are getting an earful back home from constituents who want them to turn back from their dangerous plan to make America sick again.”
But Republicans pushed back on the findings. Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) office called the analysis "meaningless" because it does not take into account any replacement legislation.
The CBO has a history of releasing misinformation about Obamacare. In 2014, it stopped its year-to-year scoring of the effects of the legislation because it said the task was "impossible." Well, the CBO certainly found it possible to release an incredibly misleading report based on legislation that no longer exists and assumptions that are not realistic.
Of course the GOP will offer a replacement for Obamacare. Trump wants it. The congressional leadership is entirely on board for it. The study is a waste of the CBO's time because there is absolutely no way that Republicans will commit political suicide and throw 18 million people off their insurance next year.
But Democrats, looking to scare the hell out of the public, embraced the bogus study as it it were based on reality. It's not. And all the headlines and somber-faced liberal commentators on TV who are talking up these figures as if they were gospel are taking part in a fraud perpetrated by the supposedly "non-partisan" CBO.