The House approved the Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act without waiting for estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on how much the plan would cost and how many people would lose their access to life-saving care, and now it’s crystal clear why they did: it’s even more calamitous than we thought.
By 2026, 23 million more Americans would be left without health insurance under that bill, which squeaked through the House by a mere four votes earlier this month. That’s up from 14 million, the increase in the number of Americans projected to be without insurance by next year, according to the estimate.
If those staggering numbers of your friends, sisters, aunts, and coworkers losing their access to affordable care doesn’t knock you on your ass quite hard enough, here are some more numbers about just what the American Health Care Act would do:
- An estimated 51 million people under 65 would be uninsured in 2026 (compared to a projected 28 million under the Affordable Care Act)
- Premiums for the poor and elderly would increase by a projected 850% over the next decade
But there is plenty of good news for deficit hawks and people who are A-OK with their neighbors dying because they can’t afford chemo: the draconian plan would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over ten years, down from a savings of $150 billion that was projected in March under an earlier version of the bill. See, you can’t always get everything you want, even if you’re a Republican.
The CBO also essentially agreed with the Democrats’ claim that the AHCA would all but eliminate protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, which was one of the most popular provisions of President Obama’s signature health care law.
But the bill would reap even more good down the road if you’re one of the lucky ones who manage to hang on to your good health, good luck, and health insurance: as the sicker, older people die and/or are priced out of the market (because, don’t forget, this bill would allow health insurers to charge sick people whatever insane premiums they want) health care will get cheaper for the rest of us! Fiscal responsibility for the win! And death by a million cuts for the rest of us.