Report: Paul Ryan’s Plan Could Force 15 Million to Lose Health Coverage

American Health Care Act CHIP SOMODEVILLAGetty

Analysis from the Brookings Institution says that 15 million people could lose coverage under Speaker Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to score the Ryan plan, although the Brookings Institution’s report does not bode well for the House leadership’s bill.

The Ryan plan reports, “We conclude that CBO’s analysis will likely estimate that at least 15 million people will lose coverage under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the end of the ten-year scoring window. Estimates could be higher, but it’s [sic] is unlikely they will be significantly lower.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation states that the Ryan plan’s tax credits aid wealthier Americans more than lower-income individuals. Older Americans would face comparatively less aid through tax credits than younger counterparts.

American Medical Association CEO James Madara also criticized the Republican leadership’s tax credits, saying, “We believe credits inversely related to income, rather than age as proposed in the committee’s legislation, not only result in greater numbers of people insured but are a more efficient use of tax-payer resources.”

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has maintained that tax credits help everyone get covered. He said, “It covers more people, because it applies to those who don’t have a tax liability, and it’s advanceable, so it’s available today.”

Avik Roy, a health expert at Forbes, argued that tax credits in the Ryan plan will “price many poor and vulnerable people out of the health insurance market.”

Michael Cannon, the Cato Institute’s director of health policy studies, believes that the GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill will force the poor to lose their coverage. He lamented, “If the tax credits (read: subsidies) for low-income Americans are less than under Obamacare, many more low-income patients will lose coverage. Premiums will continue to rise. Republicans will take the blame for all of it, because they will have failed to repeal Obamacare, or learn its lessons, when they had the chance.”


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