WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congressional Republican efforts to replace the health care law (all times local):
A new analysis by Congress’ nonpartisan budget scorekeepers undermines claims by House Republicans that their health legislation protects people with pre-existing conditions.
Instead, the Congressional Budget Office “score” of the bill passed earlier this month says that in some cases, people with pre-existing conditions would not be able to purchase comprehensive health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, “if they could purchase it at all.”
The finding is a blow to arguments from House GOP leaders who managed to get their bill over the finish line by arguing that a last-minute addition of $8 billion would bolster protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
The CBO specifies that these people would have difficulty getting affordable coverage “despite the additional funding that would be available.”
Health care legislation passed by House Republicans earlier this month would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over the next 10 years.
That’s according to a new estimate released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office.
GOP leaders were quick to point to the deficit reduction figure as good news for their legislation — even though an earlier version of the bill, rejected by the House, would have reduced the deficit by more than twice as much.
The Congressional Budget Office says an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured in 2026 under the latest version of the House Republican health care bill.
That compares with 28 million under age 65 who would lack insurance that year under the current health law signed by President Barack Obama.
And it’s only a tiny improvement from the original version of the House bill, which would have resulted in an estimated 52 million people under 65 uninsured by 2026, according to the nonpartisan budget office.
The information is in the so-called “score” released Wednesday of the legislation the House passed earlier this month. It’s been eagerly awaited but shows little change on insurance coverage compared with the earlier version of the health bill, which collapsed.
Congressional estimates show that the tax cuts in the House Republicans’ health care package have shrunk by $69 billion.
The bill still contains almost $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy.
The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says the reduction is mainly because the bill delays the repeal of the 0.9 percent payroll tax until 2023. The tax is applied to wages over $200,000 for an individual and over $250,000 for a married couple.
House Republicans passed a bill that would repeal and replacing President Barack Obama’s health law earlier this month. A much-anticipated congressional analysis of the bill was released Wednesday.
The Congressional Budget Office says the health care bill Republicans pushed through the House this month would leave 23 million additional people uninsured in 2026, compared with former President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The nonpartisan office also says that compared with Obama’s 2010 overhaul, average premiums for people buying individual policies would be lower. The report says that is partly because insurance on average would cover less of people’s health care costs.
It was the budget office’s first analysis of the bill that passed the House May 4 with only GOP votes.
Democrats have criticized Republicans for pushing people off coverage. Many Republicans have said their top goal is lowering premiums.
Senate Republicans have been holding closed-door meetings to try writing their own health care overhaul.
Senate leaders are positioning themselves for a Congressional Budget Office report that will assess the impact the House-approved health care bill would have on insurance coverage and consumers’ costs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that whatever the report shows, it’s unacceptable to retain former President Barack Obama’s health care law. The Kentucky Republican calls that statute “unsustainable.”
New York Democrat Chuck Schumer is Senate minority leader. He says the report will likely show “the same grave consequences” as earlier analyses by the nonpartisan budget office. Those found that earlier versions of the House bill left 24 million additional people uninsured and drove up out-of-pocket costs for many seniors and others.
Wednesday’s projections will serve as starting points for Senate Republicans writing their own health care bill.
The Congressional Budget Office plans to release its estimate Wednesday of what impact the Republican House-passed health care bill would have on coverage and premiums.
The report could give talking points to House Republicans for their bill, or to Democrats who voted unanimously against it.
For GOP senators holding private meetings to sketch out their own legislation, the report’s figures could serve as a starting point as they consider changing the House’s Medicaid cuts, tax credits and other policies.
In previous reports on earlier versions of the bill, the nonpartisan budget office concluded the legislation would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million over a decade.
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