AMA responds to CBO’s AHCA estimates

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The American Medical Association (AMA) has issued a response to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that addresses “how the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would affect federal spending, the health insurance market, and the number of Americans with health care coverage.” 

Some of AMA’s key takeaways from the CBO report are that with the AHCA…

– 14 million fewer people would have health insurance coverage in 2018

– 24 million fewer people would have health insurance coverage in 2026

– 52 million people would be uninsured in 2026 compared with 28 million under current law

– 14 million fewer people will be enrolled in Medicaid in 2026

– 9 million fewer would be enrolled in the individual market in 2020 than under current law

– 2 million people would lose employer coverage compared to the current projections for 2020

– 7 million people would lose employer coverage by 2026

– There would be a $880 billion reduction in Medicaid spending over the 2017-2026 period (i.e., “rollback expansion and lower payments to states through per capita caps.”)

– “States would need to decide whether to commit more of their own resources to finance the [Medicaid] program at current law levels or whether to reduce spending by cutting payments to health care providers and health plans, eliminating optional services, restricting eligibility for enrollment or (to the extent feasible) arriving at more efficient methods for delivering services.”

– A $637 billion in savings associated with eliminating the ACA subsidies would be offset by $361 billion in spending for new tax credits – resulting in a $312 billion net reduction in subsidies (and keeping in mind that the new tax credits are only age-adjusted, so the “impact of subsidy reduction is heightened for low-income individuals.”)

– “In general, tax credits for lower income people would be less under AHCA than current law while they would be higher for upper income people, especially those with incomes above 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.”

– Premiums would rise for the first two years and then decline to levels below what would have been expected under the current law (i.e., “attract more younger people into risk pools.”)

– Premiums are also expected to decrease due to the elimination of the actuarial value equivalent requirement

– Older individuals would pay more for premiums

– While older people receive a larger tax credit, premiums would be up to five times higher than younger individuals (currently three times)

– There would be a $337 billion reduction in deficit spending over a 10-year period

Click for AMA statement on CBO/AHCA estimates