CBO Analysis Estimates Many Left Uninsured Under Senate Health Reform Bill

Health reform legislation titled, Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, would result in an estimated 22 million individuals losing health insurance over 10 years according to analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation released June 26. This number is only slightly lower than the number of individuals rendered uninsured by the version of the legislation passed by the House of Representatives.

By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law. CBO also found that lower financial assistance in this legislation could make premiums unaffordable for many low-income people and raise deductibles as well. The bill would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017 – 2026 period by $321 billion.

The bill’s fate in the Senate is an open question, with several Republican senators publicly expressing serious concerns. Further modifications to the legislation are also possible as Republican leaders attempt to persuade skeptical members. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has repeatedly signaled his intent to hold the final vote prior to adjourning for the July 4 recess, although ongoing reluctance among Republican senators may prevent that vote from taking place.

“The Congressional Budget Office analysis makes clear that the Better Care Reconciliation Act would lead to a loss of coverage for millions of Americans and limit access to care for our most vulnerable populations. The ACC is deeply concerned by the potential impact not only on our own patients, but for all Americans who need care,” said ACC Vice President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC.

“The ACC opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act as it does not align with our Principles for Health Reform, which stress the need for patient access to meaningful insurance coverage and high quality care. We urge senators to move forward on a bipartisan basis to promote the reforms necessary to strengthen and improve our health care system. We offer our continued support and expertise to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as we work on the goal we all share – to provide access for all Americans to the finest care in the world.”


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