New Analysis of U.S. House Health Care Repeal Proves How Damaging it Would Be

By Stacey Pogue, Center for Public Policy Priorities, May 25, 2017

Today the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its “score” of the U.S. House-passed health care repeal bill. Earlier this month the House took the short-sighted and unusual step of voting to pass the “American Health Care Act” before the CBO scored it, and now we can see why. The score reveals terrible news that House members did not want to face as they rammed the health care repeal bill through.  The bill will cause millions of people to lose their health insurance coverage in order to pay for big tax breaks for wealthy individuals, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies.

The CBO is the non-partisan, official number cruncher for Congress. The “score” lets Congress and the public know both how much the bill will cost to the federal budget, and how many millions of people will lose health insurance coverage. Full analyses will take more time, but our initial analysis shows that compared to current law under the Affordable Care Act / ObamaCare:

  • In 2018, 14 million more Americans will be uninsured under the AHCA than would have been under the ACA, and by 2026 that number will grow to 23 million more uninsured. Of that 23 million:
  • 14 million Americans will lose coverage in Medicaid by 2026, due to deep cuts ($834 billion over ten years) to the program. In Texas, Medicaid pays for more than half of all births, covers more than 40 percent of all children, and pays for the care of two-thirds of people in nursing homes. The dramatic cuts to Medicaid will harm millions of low-income Texans and our health care system and put strains and local governments and taxpayers.
  • 9 million additional Americans will lose private health insurance by 2026, 6 million in the individual market and 3 million losing employer-sponsored coverage. The AHCA slashes subsidies, and out-of-pocket premiums increase for people who buy on their own insurance — especially for people age 50-64, people in rural areas, and people who are low-income. The bill would reduce funds for premium subsidies by $276 billion over 10 years.
  • $664 billion in tax cuts to wealthy individuals, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies paid for by huge cuts to the programs that keep insurance affordable for low- and moderate-income Americans: Medicaid and subsidies in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Now the U.S. Senate has taken up this bad bill. Small tweaks cannot solve all of the problems the AHCA creates. The Senate should scrap the AHCA and start over again with promises that:

  1. CBO Score: The Senate will not vote on a bill until the CBO has scored the version of the bill they are actually voting on;
  2. Coverage losses are unacceptable. At least as many people should have coverage under the AHCA as the ACA;
  3. Medicaid will be protected, not raided to pay for tax cuts; and
  4. Premiums and out-of-pocket costs will not be increased shifting the heaviest burdens to the lowest income, people in rural areas, people ages 50-65, and people with pre-existing conditions. Simply making bare-bones coverage cheap for people who are young and healthy, while raising costs and causing coverage losses or grossly inadequate benefits among all others is not a real—or acceptable— policy solution

Take action TODAY to stop ACA repeal

The vote to repeal the ACA is now scheduled for TODAY!

If you can go to your representative’s office and make your case in person, today’s the day!

If you can’t, keep making calls!

Here are the changes to the bill demanded by the House Freedom Caucus that make it so much worse. Remember, this bill didn’t get a vote yesterday because some members thought it was brutal enough.

This bill is terrible and it’s getting worse. What moderates may not know is just how bad eliminating essential health benefits are.

  • Covering pre-existing conditions would only be on paper. Plans will not over basic services, even prescription drugs, that people need to treat their conditions to stay healthy.
  • Charging women more than men. No longer requiring plans to cover maternity care would mean that insurance companies would once again be able to penalize women and charge them more.
  • Removing Essential Health Benefits effectively obliterates out-of-pocket caps and reinstates annual and lifetime limits. Because annual and lifetime limits apply only to essential health benefits, insurers could once again put a cap on how much care one receives but not on how much people owe. Those with employer-sponsored coverage will be at risk too.

ASK: Vote no. We need every member to PUBLICLY oppose the health care repeal bill as soon as possible. We need people to publicly say they are going to vote no so when the time comes for them to vote we already have them on record so they will be less likely to flip.

Week of Action on ACA Repeal aka NO #Trumpcare

Update: Please RSVP for our Tuesday night conference call, where we’ll discuss ACA repeal

The Affordable Care Act faces a critical repeal vote this Thursday.

This is a do-or-die moment for the ACA. Exactly seven years to the day of the Affordable Care Act becoming law, the House of Representatives will be voting to repeal it and replace it with Trumpcare—a plan that would lead to 24 million Americans losing their health care.

We’ve put together some resources to help you speak with your member of Congress or their staff about the harm ACA repeal will do to Texans.

This week we need to call our members of Congress and demand that they reject Trumpcare.

Here’s a script:

I’m calling to ask Congressman _____ to oppose Trumpcare. According to the CBO, Trumpcare will result in 24 million Americans losing their health care over the next 10 years. It will mean higher premiums for many Americans, worse coverage options, and even millions of people with employer coverage will lose their coverage as a result of this bill. Trumpcare also cuts $880 billion in funding for Medicaid, which will result in 14 million Americans from working families losing their coverage. It does all of this in order to give a major tax cut to the wealthiest Americans, insurance companies, drug companies and other corporations like medical device companies. This is unacceptable.

If the staffer says the CBO score is bad: That is not true. The CBO is a well-respected, nonpartisan office that does cost estimates of major bills to make sure that the public and Members of Congress understand the full impact of bills like Trumpcare. Republicans and Democrats alike have relied on CBO estimates for decades and so there is no reason to believe its analysis is wrong. The CBO score is clear in that millions of Americans will lose coverage because of Trumpcare.

Will Congressman _______ commit, publicly, to voting against Trumpcare?

Use the following to add more local detail to your phone calls and emails:

How many Texans will lose their health insurance by 2026 as a result of Trumpcare, and how much more will it cost them?

Use this interactive map from the Center for American Progress to find out.

How many will lose insurance in your Congressional district by 2026 as a result of Trumpcare?

Download this table from the Center for American Progress to find out.

What’s the true cost of Trumpcare in your Congressional district?

Find your district’s fact sheet in this memo from the Democratic staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the impact of the potential ACA repeal on each of the 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia. (These numbers do not agree exactly with the previous table, likely due to differing methodologies.)

How will tax credits change for people in your county?

While some younger people may do slightly better under Trumpcare, costs will skyrocket for Texans in their late fifties and early sixties. Use this interactive map from the Kasier Family Foundation to find out.

If you want a more in-depth exploration from very smart policy wonks of all the horrible things this bill will do, listen to last week’s emergency ACA call with Indivisible, the Center for American Progress, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Families USA.

Organize a vigil at your member of Congress’ office

Millions of lives hang in the balance. The House vote this coming week is the first step towards enactment of this devastating Trumpcare bill. But you and your Indivisible group have the power to stop this.

Centex Action Network in Waco has organized vigils at Rep. Flores’ office Wednesday and Thursday nights this week, and they invite Indivisible groups from across Texas and the nation to hold their own vigils at their member’s offices this week.

UPDATE: Many more vigils are happening!

Is your group holding a vigil? Let us know and we’ll add it to the community calendar.