Statement on the New Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate of the American Health Care Act by Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center
New York, NY—The numbers are different, but the story’s unchanged. The updated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate continues to show that the AHCA will cause millions to lose health coverage, restrict access to needed care, and hike health care costs most significantly for the oldest and sickest among us. We urge the U.S. Senate to reject this harmful, misguided bill and engage in a bipartisan, transparent dialogue on needed health reforms that enhance access and affordability.
According to CBO, 23 million people would lose health coverage over the next decade if the AHCA becomes law. The bill’s $834 billion in cuts to Medicaid will end the program as we know it, risking access to home and community-based services, nursing home care, and other essential services, including for the one in five (11 million) people with Medicare who also rely on Medicaid.
The CBO report affirms that older adults will be among those hardest hit by the ACHA. Again, the CBO finds that the number of uninsured would increase most significantly among low-income, older Americans. Insurance premiums for a 64-year old living on only $26,500 would increase by as much as 800%.
CBO also estimates that AHCA will increase Medicare spending by $43 billion over ten years. Further, an independent analysis finds that lost revenues to the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund could lead to the Trust Fund’s insolvency two years earlier than anticipated, effectively undermining the Medicare program’s fiscal health.
The CBO report makes it clear: Senate Republicans now revising the AHCA must come out of the shadows and write a bipartisan health care bill in plain view that works for American families.
For more information on the Medicare program and proposals under consideration to change it, visit the Medicare Rights Center’s “Protect and Strengthen” webpage at www.medicarerights.org/protect.
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