Democrats use budget office report to attack GOP health bill

What are the Republicans thinking?" said Durbin, "Do they really believe that we're a better, stronger nation with 23 million people losing their health insurance?

As a result, the CBO said, people living in states that eliminated maternity coverage as a required benefit, along with other services, "would experience substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care or would choose to forego the services".

Though one-sixth of the USA population may not seem like a lot, it equates to about 53.5 million Americans-and some public policy experts are saying that a single state's decision to adopt a waiver could have effects across state lines, weakening protections for people across every state.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who in coordination with the White House pushed the GOP proposal through his chamber, said the CBO report says the GOP American Health Care Act helps his party achieve their mission. We need to bring down the cost of coverage and we need to revitalize the market so that people have real choices and real access to affordable health care.

The CBO issued two reports on earlier versions of the Republican legislation, called the American Health Care Act, in March.

"This is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare", Trump said. Democrats have slammed Republicans for writing their bill behind closed doors and for not moving through the typical committee process in the Senate. Many Republican members of Congress admitted that they didn't read it before voting for it, but more importantly, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was not given the chance to analyze the legislation before it went to the floor for a vote.

Republicans also say the plan does what they wanted all along: lowers premiums, while at the same time lowering the deficit.

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"The American Health Care Act would have a devastating impact on working families, driving many deeper into hunger and poverty", said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. Most serious was its finding - contrary to House GOP assertions - that the bill would be devastating to people with pre-existing conditions.

The report said older people with lower income would disproportionately lose coverage.

"CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under H.R. 1628 than under current law". The previous version of the bill reduced shortfalls by $150 billion. About half the people who buy individual health insurance policies are subsidized under Obama's health law, but the rest are not, and many have faced stiff premium increases.

The CBO looks to states' past behavior to predict whether they would take up a waiver from the essential health benefits requirement and the community rating protection. Their Obamacare repeal bill, they insist, would only allow insurers to jack up prices on sick people if those people haven't maintained continuous health coverage.

The budget office projected that premiums in those states would be lower for healthy people than under current law because their coverage would be narrower, but did not estimate an amount.

"I'm actually comforted by the CBO report, which shows that it [AHCA] will lower premiums, and we can make sure people with pre-existing conditions get covered", he said.

What's more, the CBO expects that states with "fewer insurers" (North Carolina has one statewide insurer on the individual market) and "higher premiums" (North Carolina has the second-highest gross benchmark plan premium before subsidies in the country) would be those most likely to seek those waivers.

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