Non-partisan Congressional Budget Office releases report on cost of repealing Obamacare

Congress is set to return to Capitol Hill after a seven week break. (Photo Credit: Mark Meredith)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCMH) — The non-partisan report states that the number of people uninsured could hit 32 million by 2026.

According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office, more than a year ago, staff with CBO and the Joint Committee of Taxation, began estimating the effects of repealing the individual and employer mandate portions of the Affordable Care Act, as proposed by H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.

The CBO, a nonpartisan group, estimated the following effects of a repeal:

  • The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill. Later, after the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.
  • Premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by 20 percent to 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in the first new plan year following enactment. The increase would reach about 50 percent in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and the marketplace subsidies, and premiums would about double by 2026.

In the report, the CBO does note that, “The ways in which individuals, employers, states, insurers, doctors, hospitals, and other affected parties would respond to the changes made by H.R. 3762 are all difficult to predict, so the estimates in this report are uncertain. But CBO and JCT have endeavored to develop estimates that are in the middle of the distribution of potential outcomes.”

The CBO also says that H.R. 3762 would still require insurers who sell plans either through the marketplaces or directly to consumers:

  • Provide specific benefits and amounts of coverage;
  • Not deny coverage or vary premiums because of an enrollee’s health status or limit coverage because of preexisting medical conditions; and
  • Vary premiums only on the basis of age, tobacco use, and geographic location.

To read the full report click here: How Repealing Portions of the Affordable Care Act Would Affect Health Insurance Coverage and Premiums

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