CBO: 24 Million Would Lose Health Insurance Under GOP Bill By 2026

Tyler Durden's picture

The much anticipated CBO scoring of the American Health Care Act, aka "Trumpcare" is out, and it has concluded that millions of Americans would lose medical insurance under the republican proposal to dismantle Obamacare, dealing a potential setback to President Donald Trump's first major legislative initiative. In total, the CBO found that 52 million people would be uninsured by 2026 if the bill became law, compared to 28 million who would not have coverage that year if Obamacare remained unchanged.

Among the key highlights are the following:

  • 14 million would lose insurance by 2018, with the number risin to 24 million by 2026.
  • The budget deficit would be reduced by $337 billion over 10 years.
  • Premiums would rise by 15-20% in 2018-2019, however they would then decline by 10% than under current law by 2026.

Two House committees have already approved the legislation to dismantle Obamacare, but as reported earlier, the proposal faces opposition from not only Democrats but also medical providers including doctors and hospitals and many conservatives. The CBO report's findings could make the Republican plan a harder sell in Congress.

As Reuters adds, some Republicans worry a misfire on the Republican healthcare legislation could hobble Trump's presidency and set the stage for losses for the party in the 2018 congressional elections. Ahead of the report's release, Trump tried to rally support for the bill on Monday:  "The House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare will provide you and your fellow citizens with more choices - far more choices - at lower cost," the Republican president said at a White House meeting with people opposed to Obamacare.

The key sections from the report:

  • CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.
    • Later, following additional changes to subsidies for insurance purchased in the nongroup market and to the Medicaid program, the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026. The reductions in insurance coverage between 2018 and 2026 would stem in large part from changes in Medicaid enrollment—because some states would discontinue their expansion of eligibility, some states that would have expanded eligibility in the future would choose not to do so, and per-enrollee spending in the program would be capped. In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
  • CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period. That total consists of $323 billion in on-budget savings and $13 billion in off-budget savings. Outlays would be reduced by $1.2 trillion over the period, and revenues would be reduced by $0.9 trillion.
  • The legislation would tend to increase average premiums in the nongroup market prior to 2020 and lower average premiums thereafter, relative to projections under current law. In 2018 and 2019, according to CBO and JCT’s estimates, average premiums for single policyholders in the nongroup market would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher than under current law, mainly because the individual mandate penalties would be eliminated, inducing fewer comparatively healthy people to sign up.

But today's estimates are somewhat worse than expected, as the Brookings Institution predicted the number losing coverage would be at most 15 million over 10 years.

The plan's arhcitect, Paul Ryan, took to twitter to react to the CBO report: "CBO report confirms it → American Health Care Act will lower premiums & improve access to quality, affordable care." He highlighted 2 sentences from his statement: "Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage. It is about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford. When people have more choices, costs go down."

As the Hill notes, the long-awaited analysis from the agency is sure to shake up the debate over the measure, which is already facing sharp criticism from conservatives and many centrist Republicans.   The GOP bill repeals ObamaCare’s subsidies to buy coverage, replacing them with smaller tax credits, as well as the law’s Medicaid expansion after 2019. Both moves were expected to lead to coverage losses.

Republicans had largely expected that the CBO would show Americans losing coverage, and preemptively went on the offensive against the agency, whose director, Keith Hall, who was appointed by the GOP.  White House press secretary Sean Spicer last week argued CBO was “way off” in its ObamaCare projections.  "If you're looking to the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place,” he said. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, meanwhile, argued Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the CBO shouldn’t even try to analyze the bill. “Sometimes we ask them to do stuff they’re not capable of doing, and estimating the impact of a bill of this size probably isn’t the best use of their time,” he said.

That said, as we have shown on numerous occasions in the past, the CBO's predictive track record is simply abysmal. For an indication of that recall our post from 2013: "CBO Forecasts: Then And Now"

A few hours ago, the CBO published its most recent 10 year revised outlook for US revenue and spending: The Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2013-2023. Not surprisingly it was, as anything to ever come out of the CBO, overly optimistic. Promptly, the media latched on to the revised deficit expectations according to which the CBO now sees a budget deficit declining from 845 billion to "only" $642 billion in 2013, and dropping to $560 billion the year after. This looks at the short end: the near-term revenue benefits of recent tax increase policy which take from long-term growth (just ask Europe). The fact that the CBO also forecast the deficit proceeding to once again balloon to $895 billion by 2023 at which point the deficit difference between total spending and revenues goes asymptotic once the demographic crunch truly hits, was ignored by all.


We will ignore the underlying drivers to the CBO revision: we let readers peruse these at leisure. Instead, we will simply muse at the ridiculousness of anything called a "forecast" coming out of the CBO, and present how the "independent" economic forecasts from this office change in time.


On the chart below, the dotted lines are the CBO forecasts as a % of GDP from January 2008 for the period 2008-2018. The solid lines are the just released revised forecasts for 2013-2023.

Perhaps the most notable difference is that in 2008, the CBO was predicting that the US budget deficit would turn into a surplus in 2011. Instead ended up being an $1+ trillion deficit for that year alone. Also, in the period between 2008 and 2013, the CBO then forecast a cumulative deficit of just a few hundred billion. Instead, we ended up with deficits of over $5 trillion and, sadly, still rising.


So take anything coming out of the CBO with a very big grain of salt.


But for now, with the market hitting new highs every single day just because, the CBO is surely allowed to come up with any goalseeked numbers: it's not like anyone cares when stocks are soaring in a trance that is now completely disconnected from anything and only reliant on central bank balance sheets. And of course, we can't wait to look back in five years and laugh at this specific revised "forecast."

The CBO's full scaling of Trumpcare is below (link)

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Duc888's picture



There is no mandate but if you get insurance and you let it lapse... you pay the "fine" to the insurance companies...

crazy shit, hugh?

matinee55's picture

looks like the 14 million illegal, non US citizens free shit game is coming to a end?

SamEyeAm's picture

I hope you're right, but I wouldn't count on it. The FSA is embedded throughout the government. Even the RINOs are pretty much there.

We may slow it down a little, but that's better than nothing I guess.



SamEyeAm's picture

So 24 million will lose coverage because someone else will not pay for their coverage?

Where do I sign up... to not be taxed for other people's health care.



And kill EMTALA too while you're at it. It's abused far too much and can be rewritten to only be used by those who truly can't pay, which is probably less than 20% of those who abuse it today. I am not a friggin money factory for everyone's problems and fuck this progressive tax system while we're at it. Flatten it all.

Ben A Drill's picture

Not my problem. I work full time, have healthcare, pay my wife's healthcare as well. No problem. Here's the rub, if I get sick for any length of time my health care status changes to part time employee. So my co-pay goes up on everything. So I pay MOAR if I'm sick and can't work.

orangegeek's picture

24M losing coverage.


TeethVillage88s's picture

I think I see the problem with Health Care Costs. S/

Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2016 = $1.208 Trillion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2015 = $1.123 Trillion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2014 = $1.032 Trillion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2013 = $980.9 Billion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2000 = $405.5 Billion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 1998 = $372.4 Billion

Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2016 = $1.417 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2015 = $1.297 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2014 = $1.187 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2013 = $1.118 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2000 = $413.12 Billion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 1998 = $379.95 Billion

SamEyeAm's picture

Jeeezus, those are big numbers.  <grumble, grumble>

Jeepers Creepers's picture

The CBO is a joke and has been wrong on about everything.


Any change would be an improvement over ObamaCare.

yttirum's picture

The 2nd information dump from Jerome Corsi.



SamEyeAm's picture

And he stole from Medicare close to One Trillion to fund it in advance. Now, last I checked, FICA was confiscated from my pay check for medicare, not Obamacare and I have no say in paying FICA. Ridiculous.

yttirum's picture

You won't hear me arguing with that. The whole fucking network is a sham.

HerrDoktor's picture

Goldman Sachs estimates that total coverage under the ACA increased by 13 to 14 million last year and may have increased by another 4 million during the first five months of 2015, for a total coverage increase of 17 to 18 million combined. At a top line, this coincides with the figure from RAND, which estimated that there were 22.8 million newly insured people since the launch of the ACA. At the same time, 5.9 million people lost coverage. This comes out to a net gain of 16.9 million lives. 



So, more people lose health insurance than ever got it in the first place (net), and those on Medicaid have free health insurance, such as it is, for life.

SummerSausage's picture

Those numbers are phony too.  The increase came in people on Medicaid - including illegals.  They're all paid for 100% from wages confiscated from working Americans.

Obama allowed able bodied men without children to sign up for Medicaid.

The whole idea was to destroy the country through financial collapse.  More takers than workers.

Reinstate catastrophic care insurance, get people paying doctors directly and watch the prices of care and insurance fall while number of insured go up.

brushhog's picture

" This comes out to a net gain of 16.9 million lives."

This is the big  lie from the criminals on the left that have brainwashed you. Even if the numbers are correct, the belief that having health insurance ( at any cost ) will save your life or enable the vast majority of people to live longer is complete BUNK. Large studies have proven that insured people, on average, do not live longer than uninsured.

AriusArmenian's picture

So there will be more money for the military.

If they have to spend money at least spend it on health care.

Cut military spending by 50%.

SummerSausage's picture

Parasites take up more than 50% of the budget as it is. Military less than 30% and they protect ALL of us.

Get rid of the parasites.

SummerSausage's picture

CBO says 14 million will lose healthcare overnight but only 8 million are on the Obamacare exchange.

By the way, 5 million LOST the inexpensive coverage they liked and were force on the Obamacare exchange.  Why didn't the CBO warn of that when Obamacare was passed?

All this mess is over 3 million people who didn't have healthcare 8 years ago?  How many billions has this cost?

J J Pettigrew's picture

"LOSE" is the wrong word....

For there will be no mandate...so millions will CHOOSE not to be covered.

No one will "lose" coverage if they dont want to "lose".....

damn this media

hotrod's picture

THERE WAS MORE TO THE ACA act than just covering 3 million more people.  That is why we could never read it.  I agreee we have opened a can of worms for 3 million WTH.  30 million cant afford to use it now but we got those 3 million with out covered.

SamEyeAm's picture

Just cut the mandate, tip it over and come up with a better smaller plan for those who really need it over time, complete with extreme auditing :-)

This welfare state is way out of control.

hotrod's picture

WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS EXCERCISE if people cannot afford to use their insurance.  Absolute bull to say that maybe in a couple of years it will get cheaper.  So raise it 20-30% NOW and then knock 10% off in a few years.  This is criminal.  Millions are paying through the nose for this shit and cant use it.

LeftandRightareWrong's picture

ACA is great for a narrow demographic.  Those with substantial assets who can also avoid the subsidy cliff.

J J Pettigrew's picture

"LOSE" is the wrong word....

For there will be no mandate...so millions will CHOOSE not to be covered.

No one will "lose" coverage if they dont want to "lose".....

damn this media

LeftandRightareWrong's picture

Yup, the Ruling Class is tricky with "Dem" words. Gotta watch 'em every minute.

LeftandRightareWrong's picture

A long line of rational public policy.  Add to the list.
ER's must treat, but patients don't have to pay. 

Pollygotacracker's picture

Here in West Virginia 1/3 of the population is on Medicaid. Lots are children. Why have kids when you can't feed, house, or pay for the doctor? What the f#ck!

Pollygotacracker's picture

Here in West Virginia 1/3 of the population is on Medicaid. Lots are children. Why have kids when you can't feed, house, or pay for the doctor? What the f#ck!

ParaZite's picture

Well, if you are marrying your sister or your cousin, chances are, birth control isn't really high on your list of priorities. 

You did say West Virginia...

Pollygotacracker's picture

I am originally from Chicago. I have been forced to move several times to avoid illegal immigrants and high taxes. There are good people who work hard in this state. But, there are rotten apples gaming the system.

crossroaddemon's picture

You're not gonna stop people from fucking, and birth control costs money. Just saying...

SummerSausage's picture

The pill costs $10 month.  If people thought they'd have to pay to raise their own kids instead of being rewarded with section 8 housing, food stamps, monthly cash, medical - they'd spend the $10 month.

debtor of last resort's picture

Your healthcare is like your oil, you stupid fucks. Monetize it, or die.

ParaZite's picture

I not only lost health care, but I have to pay a fine for not being able to afford it, when Obamacare passed. 

Suck it up, buttercup. 

Or, talk the government into doing something sensible, like Medicare for all, Medicaid for the poor, and let everyone buy a suppliment. 

quax's picture

Or, talk the government into doing something sensible, like Medicare for all, Medicaid for the poor, and let everyone buy a suppliment.

Odd, that looks like the policies Bernie and Hillary pushed when Bill Clinton first came into office, and that the GOP fought tooth and nail.

brushhog's picture

Ever consider that those 14 million might not WANT insurance?

slightlyskeptical's picture

They may not want it but most likely will need it at some point. And then if they don't have it, THEY most likely become a ward of the state. Until recently, I believed that Obamacare should let anyone sign up, even after a costly accident / disease.

I still think that part any of any health insurance for all plan should allow people to bow out. But I now think those that decline coverage need to sign a legal document stating they will be declined all healthcare (emergency or not) unless accompanied by cash in hand. Maybe a tatoo on the wrist telling emergency response not to treat would be appropriate. If they wish to join a plan in the future they will need to pay all back premiums starting from the date they declined coverage.

Insurance only works if you pay it through a whole life cycle, people who wait to buy it until they are statistcally more likely to need care should have to pay much, much more thn those that don't. The argument used has been that young people shouldn't be forced to pay the current sick people. It should be framed that young people need to pay now so that they can afford to be treated when they are older. 

slightlyskeptical's picture

I am not sure why my post always show up twice. 

sacredfire's picture

Does anyone actually believe these figures from the CBO? Really, anyone?

sacredfire's picture

Does anyone actually believe these figures from the CBO? Really, anyone?

quax's picture

Sure. But feel free to refute their econometric assumptions line by line.

yttirum's picture

Would you like to pay for "Gun Insurance?" Would you like to be barred from owning a gun for "anxiety?" Would you like it if your doctor can ask you if you own a "gun?"

Well, then vote for RINOcare! Fuck your second amendment and 1st amendment rights. RINOcare is the bees knees!


Duc888's picture



ASSHOLE GOP "establishment" had 8 fucking years to cook up a replacement.... and this is what they put on the table.





G-R-U-N-T's picture

Obama is like the guy who get's involved with ANY project and screws it up almost beyond fixing. So here you have Trump, ambitious as he is, working with the braindead and clueless dems and establishment repubs to clean up the horrible residual effects of what these numskulls created. Yes the establishment repubs are responsible too for their inaction.

Government needs to completely get out of the Healthcare racket, save some regulatory functioning to protect the consumer.

Radical Pragmatist's picture

Re:"Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage. It is about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford."

Who actually wants a plan that costs $10K+ in premiums ($15K+ for those over 50) with $7,000+ deductibles? 

Obamacare forced you to buy a crap policy while the RepubCare plan gives you the option to buy a crap policy.  Either way, you still can't afford to get treated.

And OBTW, about that $337 Billion in savings?  More money to shovel to the Pentagon where it's needed to run the planet while America rots at home.

El Gordo's picture

Get government out of it.  Repeal Ocare and leave it's carcus to rot.  give the vets vouchers to see private doctors and hospitals, and turn the VA hospitals over to the welfare agencies to run for those who demand free stuff. 

TrustbutVerify's picture

The Trump win was not supposed to happen. In light of the headlong decades of spending U.S. bankruptcy is obviously right around the corner. Obamacare was suppose to fail, coinciding with national bankruptcy that within a few years creates the desperation for healthcare in the upcoming depression's unemployed and ZIRP-induced poor and, conveniently, the aging and otherwise broke aging population.

So, as the SHTF only the government (single payer) can come in and (besides healthcare rationing) ...save the day.

This Trump era attempt to fix things is a 'hail mary' pass. Kudos to those trying to fix things. But so many Americans are so far past doing anything to make their own and/or and their citizen situation better -like buying products made in the USA - and for decades relying increasingly on the false promise of the monetary heroin of government benefits and welfare otherwise they'll be lucky get scraps in the street.

SMC's picture

Death is preferable to life under Obummercare.

Repeal and do not replace.

quax's picture

Let me guess, in your spare time you also enjoy pushing grandmas into busy roads? It's just mercy killing after all.

crossroaddemon's picture

So seriously... you're going to off yourself if ACA 2.0 passes? Which it probably will. Death is the preferable outcome in damn few circumstances. I'm pretty sure it's the least interesting thing in life...