The number of uninsured people in the US would increase by 23 million by 2026 if the American Health Care Act (AHCA, HR 1628) as passed by the House of Representatives were enacted, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected in a report issued late Wednesday, May 24, 2017.1 A CBO analysis of a previous version of the AHCA projected that enactment of the legislation would have increased the number of uninsured by 24 million in 2026.
The House on May 4, 2017, narrowly approved the bill.
The release of the CBO report clears the way for the bill to move to the Senate for consideration under the budget reconciliation process, which would make it possible for the Senate to pass the AHCA with a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than 60 votes generally needed to bring legislation up for a vote under Senate rules. Significant changes may be under consideration in the Senate.
Overall, the AHCA would:
- Reduce federal health care spending;
- Redesign advanceable, refundable tax credits for individuals who do not have access to employer-sponsored coverage;
- Restructure and cap federal Medicaid funding to the states;
- Repeal most taxes and fees enacted under the Affordable Care Act (ACA);
- Provide $138 billion over 10 years in federal funding for state programs intended to help stabilize and reduce health insurance premiums in the non-group market.
Organizations representing hospitals, physicians, health plans and consumers have issued statements critical of the bill.
Key highlights of the CBO’s analysis of the AHCA as passed by the House are provided below.