On May 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a revised score for the House-passed version of HR 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017.
Key highlights from the CBO’s May 24 analysis:
- According to the CBO’s cost estimate, the AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over 10 years, primarily due to the bill’s cuts to Medicaid and private insurance subsidies.
- If the bill is enacted, the CBO estimates that by 2026, an estimated 23 million people currently with health insurance will lose coverage. This number is similar to the 24 million people projected to lose coverage over the same 10-year period under the CBO’s analyses of earlier versions of the bill.
- The CBO estimates that average premiums will be 20 percent higher in 2018 and five percent higher in 2019 under the legislation than under current law, although it notes that this could change depending on how the law is implemented.
- The non-group (individual) insurance market is expected to remain stable in many parts of the country under the legislation as passed by the House. However, the CBO analysis states that one-sixth of the U.S. population lives in areas where the market would be expected to become unstable under the legislation beginning in 2020.
The CBO emphasizes that its estimates of the AHCA are uncertain, given the difficulties in predicting “[t]he ways in which federal agencies, states, insurers, employers, individuals, doctors, hospitals, and other affected parties would respond to the changes made by the legislation.” In addition, the Senate is currently considering the bill and is expected to make significant changes; alternatively, the Senate may draft a new bill. Senate leadership may send a draft bill to the CBO by mid-June, and some in the Senate have expressed a desire to bring a bill to a vote by July 4.