The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on May 24 issued its analysis of the Republican-drafted American Health Care Act (AHCA) H.R. 1628, which the U.S. House had passed on May 4.
The House Republican leadership had been criticized for voting on the controversial bill to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act before the CBO had issued its report. CBO in March had scored a previous version of the House bill that was subsequently redrawn.
CBO’s scoring of the passed bill this week mirrors in many ways its March score. According to CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), in 2018 14 million more people would be uninsured under H.R. 1628 than under current law. That number would rise to 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026. The AHCA would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $119 billion, which is $32 billion less than the deficit cutting that CBO found in the March version of the bill. CBO and JCT arrived at the $119 billion figure by combining the bill’s reduction in spending (including cutting Medicaid by $834 billion over 10 years) with reductions in revenue (including $664 in repealed taxes levied against high-income people and manufacturers).
The U.S. Senate – where criticism of the House bill has come from both sides of the aisle – is now working on its own version of health reform legislation.