Republican voters who backed President Trump for his plans to “repeal and replace Obamacare” are now on the defensive after the Congressional Budget Office announced on Monday that 24 million fewer Americans will have health insurance in the next nine years under the GOP’s American Health Care Act than the Affordable Care Act.
The CBO worked with a joint committee and found that an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured by 2026 under the GOP’s plan, compared to 28 million who would lack insurance under Obamacare. However, The American Health Care Act would also reduce the federal deficit by approximately $337 billion dollars over the coming 10 years.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was the first Democrat to voice their displeasure at the findings. “I think that throwing 24 million Americans off of health insurance, raising premiums for older low income Americans, while giving $285 billion in tax breaks to the top 2% is a disgusting and immoral proposal,” Sanders claimed, adding “Thousands of Americans will die if this legislation is passed and we have to do everything that we can to see that is defeated.”
Sanders was referring to the hike in premiums, particularly for the elderly and low income earners. For example, a 64-year-old making $26,500 would pay $1,700 for coverage in 2026 under Obamacare, due mainly to subsidies, but wold be hit with an annual premium bill of $14,600 under the American Health Care Act. However, those who earn too much to receive Obamacare subsidies are far better off under the GOP’s bill.
President Trump’s administration immediately came to the defence with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price saying outside the White House on Monday “We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out.” Price argued that the CBO ignored the fact that the GOP believes health care coverage will expand due to regulatory changes and state grants, plans that still are yet to be released.
Price also stated on Meet The Press on Sunday “I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through,” and White House spokesman Sean Spicer even claimed that it’s the CBO that can’t be trusted, telling reporters last week “If you’re looking to the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place.”