WASHINGTON (AP/CBS) — The Senate health care bill would result in 22 million more uninsured Americans over the next decade compared to current law.
That’s according to an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The figure may further complicate Senate GOP leaders’ plans to pass their bill this week. It’s barely an improvement upon the health care bill that passed the House — which would have resulted in 23 million more uninsured.
Several GOP senators have said they want to see their bill cover more people than the House version. And President Donald Trump himself called the House bill “mean” — though he’s lent his support to the Senate version and is lobbying for passage.
The findings show more immediate consequences as well.
In 2018, 15 million more people will be uninsured, compared to the current legislation. That is due to the elimination of the penalty for not having insurance. That number would soar to 19 million in 2020.
Reductions in Medicaid spending and smaller subsidies would lead to substantial declines in coverage among people under the age of 65. By 2026, enrollment would fall by about 16 percent, and an estimated 49 million would be uninsured, compared with 28 million under current law.
The Senate bill does more to reduce the federal budget deficit compared to its counterpart in the House of Representatives. The CBO estimates that over the next ten years it would reduce the deficit by $321 billion. That is $202 billion more than health care bill passed by the House.
The nation’s largest doctors’ group, the American Medical Association, sent a letter Monday to Senate leaders outlining its opposition to the health care bill. The AMA said the draft legislation violates the medical oath to “first, do no harm” and says the Republican plan is likely to lead to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care for low- and middle-income patients.
The doctors’ group says the Senate bill’s Medicaid payment formulas threaten to “limit states’ ability to address the health care needs of their most vulnerable citizens” and won’t keep up with new medical innovations and epidemics such as the opioid addiction crisis.