Any numbers put out of the Congressional Budget Office should be taken with a grain of salt, but if the official CBO opinion on a piece of legislation agrees with one party over another, count on it being used as gospel truth. That is precisely what is happening among Democrats in regards to the CBO’s report on the American Health Care Act, otherwise known as “Trump-Care”.
According to the CBO, the AHCA would increase the number of uninsured by 14 million just in 2018. With additional changes to insurance subsidies and Medicaid, by 2020 that number balloons to 21 million, and 24 million by 2026. Under the current Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), by year 2026 28 million people will lack health insurance. Under Trump-care, that number would be 52 million.
The CBO also predicts that premiums will initially increase through 2020, but then begin to fall. By 2026, insurance premiums would be 10% less expensive than under current law. Trump-care also lowers the cost to the federal government, which would save $337 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
Although the report states quite clearly, “The ways in which federal agencies, states, insurers, employers, individuals, doctors, hospitals, and other affected parties would respond to the changes made by the legislation are all difficult to predict, so the estimates in this report are uncertain”, that hasn’t kept politicians from using it to demonize Trump and the Republicans who are pushing the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
In a town hall event hosted by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was quick to tell West Virginia Trump supporters that Trump-care would hurt the poor who need healthcare the most, while offering up billions of dollars in tax breaks to the most wealthy 2% of Americans.
Meanwhile, the White House is flat out denying the numbers in the report. Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said,
“We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out. It’s just not believable is what we would suggest.”