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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monoloco's picture

Pemiums will decrease after 2026? hahahahahahahahahahahaha


onwisconsinbadger's picture

Thank you ZeroHedge for start reporting news. Did not take long to expose Drumpf. Now if we get WilliamBenzai to do the same. Love and Peace.

Insearch's picture

Bottom line... MRI in US $1000 min, $25 in other countries... Epi pen $600, $30 Mexico
Actually Mexico looks like a deal in medical tourism

gwar5's picture

Philippines: $70 USD for full blood panels, Urinalysis, chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, more.... and written specialty consultation reports for the results.


MMGA. Make Medicine Great Again.




kalboking's picture

not true. Filipinos only go to the hospital after they are too far gone. After a stroke or hearth attack. When they get to the hospital they are raped. they have to sign their houses to the bank. They only treat you for the emergency then they can give a fuck after you're gone. No one goes to a public hospital in Philippines you're as good as dead. If you want to live you must go to a private hospital where you will be ass raped not as much as USA but you will be ass raped in pesos.  I just got back from Cebu where a family member had a stroke. it was $700 a day for the hospital room at  Chong Hua.  few year ago it was wifey and it was $2000 to set a broken clavicle. Good for a foreigner still bankruptcy for filipino. Most of them just see a quack doctor and die if it's cancer. her auntie just died from beast cancer never bothered to go to hospital because they had no money. so she died slowly at home. no Hospice in philippines for the natives.



Bernardo Gui's picture

The Democrats giveth and Trump taketh away.  It's a good start.  Unfortunately nothing will change until the money runs out.

IdioTsincracY's picture


The Democrats giveth, then Trump taketh away and giveth it all to his Wall St buddies.

There... fixed!

kalboking's picture

How the fuck did it come down to Killary or Trump??? dumb muhircans you've been played.  you got the turd sammy or the diarrhea soup. est up bitchez!!!! that how they keep the sheep inline bleating all the way to the slaughter house.  the sheep don't mind being slaughtered as long as they believe they're winning.  95% of humans would have done better for the world if they were livestock.  maybe canabalism is the answer???  eat the stupid.

gwar5's picture

Don't forget to purge the CBO of the Obama leftovers...

honest injun's picture

The flaw is to try to keep one medical system.  Everyone gets a Mercedes even if they can only afford a Kia or a bicycle.  Segment the market into several different systems.  The lowest one might be free.  For that, you get only generic drugs that are bought in bulk, your doctor might not be a member of the AMA, and you would not be able to sue anyone for any reason.  Student surgeons practice on the poor.  The other levels of health care should get better service but would cost the customer more.

quesnay's picture

Exactly. The regulations do this. They prevent a continuum of service. You either get the over-regulated and unbelievable expensive medical care, (but 'safe' according to a million monitoring government bureaucrats), or you get nothing. No choice in between. No continuum.

Farmer Joe in Brooklyn's picture

CNN headline leads with "Non-partisan CBO..."

Which means the total opposite. The CBO is comprised of a bunch of unelected bureaucrats. It is anything but "non-partisan".

Victurus Libertus put up a $10,000 reward for any media leaks showing political bias and shenanigans at any major media network.

They claim to have a CNN leaker who is saying that it is pandemonium behind the scenes and that the place is crawling with CIA people. 


Comes from an anonymous source, but CNN has run headline stories with much less.

youngman's picture

How do you lose health insurance..you just have to pay for it....oh thats right..they dont want to pay for it....

bardot63's picture

Too bad if you lose your health insurance.  But you'll still have your smart phone, because that's more important to you, and you'll buy the new version, and you'll pay the money every month, while you won't pay for health insurance.  That's called tough fucking luck and shitty prioritizing.  

az_patriot's picture

1.  The CBO is stacked to the ceiling with Obama sycophants.

2.  Obamacare is so horrifyingly bad -- to the point of being far worse than nothing -- that it boggles the mind why anyone with even half a brain would attempt to defend it.  No one, and I mean NO one, is benefiting in any way from the stupid program.  The entire dumbass mess needs to be repealed.

I am on to you's picture

The,,,, American Bank Helpcare act,,,, costed what, (how many trillions),some more than a saving of 337 billion dillars in Deficit from 20017 to 2026,but again it aint the dollars,its the drivers sitting at Wallsteam stiring their pot the corrupted elected usefull idiots,who, couldnt even count for the lost trillions in the unjustfull attack war on Irak,mission accomplised huh??

Wonder how much health care could be bought,for an Irak Libia Siria Afghan Yemen Somalia Sudan and so on war,but that dont help the Ministry of peace complex,without war they would be unusefull idiots to.




Smilygladhands's picture

How many of those 24 million are US citizens?

Kefeer's picture

50 million paying for insurance they can't afford to use is worse and is reality!!   Repeal it and do not replace it.

Sledge-hammer's picture
Sledge-hammer (not verified) Mar 13, 2017 7:22 PM

Funny that in all of these years, I have never heard described as to who these 20 million uninsured people are.  I know that the welfare negroes, refugees, and other colored mystery-meat are covered by Medicaid (and Medi-Cal in the People's Republic of California). Just who are these mysterious uninsured? Did a bunch of Martians illegally immigrate to the U.S.?  Say, aren't there about 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S.?

Kefeer's picture

Wonder where that 24 million number came from; the same CBO office.

The CBO's estimates misled insurers from the start

Estimates are estimates for a reason -- they might change from time to time. The Congressional Budget Office's total enrollment estimates, however, were so far off the mark that they left health-benefit providers to fight over a pie that was less than half the size it was expected to be.

Before Obamacare was implemented, the CBO estimated that 201 million people would have private health insurance by 2016. By the time 2016 rolled around, the CBO had revised its estimate down to 177 million people, a shortfall of 24 million people! - Source 

The CBO cannot be taken for anything other than junk as they issue is too complicated for any estimate except on a political bias.

The CBO in 2012 on Obamacare - total fail.


laomei's picture

insurance is not a right

kalboking's picture

WTf are rights???  rights are things people value the highest in life. so healthcare is a right .insurance probably not.

JailBanksters's picture

But how many really really don't need Wealth Insurance because they don't get sick or decide to ride an on top of an Electric Train when their drunk.

People have been conditioned into thinking you really do need Wealth Insurance in case you get a paper-cut and it costs $10,000 for the Hospital to apply a Band-Aid. As long as somebody else is paying for it, yes it will cost $10,000.

What's really at stake here is doctors are afraid they are not going to make $1,000 an hour if nobody has Wealth Insurance and they have to pay cash instead.

onwisconsinbadger's picture

Here is a good one from the bill. WTF ?

And the lottery section is just bizarrely precise in talking about the conditions when a lottery winner wouldn't be able to get Medicaid: "a State shall, in determining such eligibility, include such winnings or income (as applicable) as income received— (I) in the month in which such winnings or income (as applicable) is received if the amount of such winnings or income is less than $80,000; (II) over a period of 2 months if the amount of such winnings or income (as applicable) is greater than or equal to $80,000 but less than $90,000; (III) over a period of 3 months if the amount of such winnings or income (as applicable) is greater than or equal to $90,000 but..." You get the idea. Obsessively detailed, no? 

slightlyskeptical's picture

That section is really all you need to know that this bill is based on hate and not much more. Major legislation because a few lottery winners gamed the system?

Kefeer's picture

But if current laws do not change, the period of shrinking deficits will soon come to an end. Between 2015 and 2024, annual budget shortfalls are projected to rise substantially—from a low of $469 billion in 2015 to about $1 trillion from 2022 through 2024—mainly because of the aging population, rising health care costs, an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance, and growing interest payments on federal debt. (PROOF IT WAS DESIGNED TO FAIL) CBO expects that cumulative deficits during that decade will equal $7.6 trillion if current laws remain unchanged. As a share of GDP, deficits are projected to rise from 2.6 percent in 2015 to about 4 percent near the end of the 10-year period. By comparison, the deficit averaged 3.1 percent of GDP over the past 40 years and 2.3 percent in the 40 years before fiscal year 2008, when the most recent recession began. From 2015 through 2024, both revenues and outlays are projected to be greater than their 40-year averages as a percentage of GDP (see the figure below).


butchtrucks's picture

Ryancare like Obamacare is an outrageous attempt to foist a Soviet-style communist health care system onto the American public. In this country good health is not a birth-right – it is a privilege – and a privilege that should only be available to those who can afford to pay for their own insurance.

We should not try and emulate socialist hell-holes like Australia, Canada or Scandinavia where every dead-beat can access free public health systems regardless of whether they’ve saved up to pay for it or not.

The US got to be great through people standing on their own two feet and taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. Not ONE DIME of our taxes should go towards supporting socialized free health care for those too lazy, poor, old, or stupid to look after themselves.

Trump needs to OUTLAW all socialized healthcare right now. He also need to OUTLAW the other socialist programs in this country including Medicare, VA, Medicaid and Social Security. These government-run programs are just pandering to people’s laziness and lack of personal responsibility and are totally un-American.

Medicare in particular is the worst socialist program ever introduced in this country (by another socialist Dem President – Lyndon Johnson in 1965). It’s a single payer government run program funded from taxes paid by YOU AND ME – to support old sick people we don’t even know.

Back in the ’60s the GOP fought long and hard to prevent this communistic system becoming law. As Ronald Reagan said at the time the Dems were trying to force this thing through “If you and I don’t stop Medicare then one of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” And look where we are now. Exactly where Reagan warned us we would be.

George HW Bush Described Medicare in 1964 as “socialized medicine at its worst” and. Same with Barry Goldwater who said: “Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink.”

Social Security is another Communist program that needs to be abolished right now. Did you know that the U.S. Social Security program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget, accounting for 20.8% of the total budget? Needless to say it was introduced by yet another socialistic Democrat President – Franklin Roosevelt back in the 1930s. And what is ‘social security’ ? It’s nothing but a program to take hard-earned money from the likes of you and me to allow lazy old people who didn’t bother to save for their retirement during their working years to live high on the hog.

The sooner Trump acts the better. I truly believe he has the balls to abolish Obamacare/Ryancare and start unwiding the other socialist and communistical atrocities such as social security, Medicare, Medicade and VA.

dogismycopilot's picture

anything from Ryan is a trojan horse.

Iconoclast421's picture

Those "24 million" do not have health insurance. They either have outrageous 50% coinsurance and $6000 deductibles (which basically isnt insurance at all), or they have WELFARE.