CMS Actuary Report: AHCA Would Drop Number of Insured by 13 Million by 2026

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AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) suggests that 13 million Americans would lose health insurance under the House-passed healthcare bill over the next ten years.

The CMS report estimates that far fewer Americans would lose health insurance under the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) compared to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis. The CBO suggests that 23 million Americans would lose health insurance over the same period. The report suggests the bill would reduce federal spending by $328 billion over the next decade, while the CBO stipulates that the House bill would reduce spending by $119 billion over the following decade.

The CMS estimates that the AHCA’s $328 billion reduction in spending primarily arises through cuts to Medicaid. The CMS forecasts that if the AHCA becomes law, there would be four million fewer people with health insurance, primarily through the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate. The CMS believes that the potential decline in heath insurance coverage through the AHCA arises from reductions in eligibility for Medicaid, the repeal of the individual mandate, and the net decrease of subsidies for individuals to purchase health insurance.

The CMS report does not contain any analysis pertaining to the AHCA’s state waivers that allow states to repeal parts of Obamacare’s community ratings and essential health benefits. The CBO reported that even moderate changes to Obamacare’s community ratings and essential benefits regulations would reduce average premiums by 20 percent.

The report concluded that the AHCA would reduce average premiums 13 percent lower than Obamacare; however, if the CMS includes the reduction in subsidies, premiums would rise by five percent or higher.

The latest report comes as the Senate tries to draft a bill that can pass through the upper chamber. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hopes to pass an Obamacare repeal and replace package before the July 4 recess.

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