CBO: Good news, bad news on Republican healthcare plan
The Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ non-partisan score keeper on the cost of legislation, has some good news for Republicans and the alternative healthcare proposal they plan to offer in the House of Representatives. Their plan would save the federal budget deficit $68 billion over 10 years and on average reduce insurance premiums compared to what they would be under current law.
“Under Republican health care reforms, premiums will go down, making coverage more affordable for families and employers, which is the first step to reducing the number of uninsured Americans,” said Republican Representative Dave Camp.
The proposal is far more limited in scope than the sweeping healthcare overhaul written by Democrats that the House is expected to debate on Saturday. The Republican proposal would provide for the sale of insurance coverage across state lines and calls for medical malpractice lawsuit reforms.
The proposal would also provide incentives to states to encourage them to review their insurance rules and mandates to find ways to reduce costs and expand medical coverage.
Now the bad news. The proposal would reduce the rolls of the uninsured by about 3 million in 2019, leaving about 52 million people without medical coverage, the CBO said. Also, the CBO said that premiums for some people, mostly the less healthy, would go up, feeding into Democratic criticisms that the Republican plan would allow insurers to “cherry pick” and enroll healthier, less costly people.
“The Republican approach is certainly not healthcare reform,” said House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer. “It’s a large amount of talk, with very little walk.”
CBO stressed that its estimates were preliminary.
Photo credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts ( U.S. Capitol police watch protesters opposed to Democratic healthcare refrom