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GOP focus on lowering health premiums may undermine benefits

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U.S. Capitol

The new estimate was recently released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), weeks after the AHCA was passed.

The House bill would save the federal budget $119 billion over a decade, no small amount, and give tax breaks to upper-income Americans who have essentially subsidized Obamacare's premiums for people in the middle- and low-income brackets. One in five (11 million) people with Medicare who also rely on Medicaid will lose their access to home and community-based services, nursing home care, and other critical services.

All told, the CBO estimates that under this law 51 million people will have no functional health insurance by 2026 compared to 28 million under current law.

"I think [they said] 24 million people would be covered on Obamacare by this year". As a result, insurance for sick people would become even more expensive. Said Price: "The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare's effect on cost and coverage, and they are wrong now".

The individual insurance market in these extensive-waiver states would likely become unstable, and rapidly increasing premiums would over time make it hard for sicker people to buy any coverage at all, according to the report. States could also gain permission for insurers to charge older customers far higher premiums.

About 1/6 of the population dependent on the healthcare exchanges would experience "instability" due to the Essential Health Benefits and preexisting condition provisions detailed above. The CBO projected that in states that waived both of these measures, consumers with pre-existing conditions would face substantially higher premiums for individual market coverage, if they could even purchase it at all.

Maternity care. Mental health.

What does this mean for Congress' repeal and replace effort? .

Nonpartisan analysts have said the House plan would undermine insurance markets, and in response, Senate Republicans are expected to craft a more modest version. But that will likely be a gradual tapering off, according to Mark Alderman, a Democratic campaign strategist.

"The Senate bill is going to be the Senate bill", he said.

But some Republicans object to the House plan's age-based tax credit structure, which some have argued places an undue burden on groups that can least afford it. Indeed, the two Republican House members from our region, Vern Buchanan and Tom Rooney, cited flaws in the status quo as justification for their votes in favor of the AHCA.

He said the proposal, which is now in the hands of the Senate, would eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which helps promote immunization, smoking cessation and other public health initiatives and makes up 12 percent of the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hupfer says that's a good thing. Rolling back that expansion would limit future enrollments. Andy Barr, James Comer, Brett Guthrie - did not respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Senate is still looking at the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was approved by the House nearly a month ago. Susan Collins (R-ME), chairwoman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, said in a press release issued after the release of the CBO score.

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