Washington, D.C. — Topher Spiro, vice president of health policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office released its assessment on the devastating impact of the Senate Republican health care repeal bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
Today’s CBO score puts to rest any doubt that the Senate version would be even a shred better than the House bill. This bill is cruel and immoral. According to the nonpartisan CBO, the bill would rip care from 22 million Americans while increasing overall costs for individuals—especially the sickest and oldest Americans—while enacting one of the biggest re-distributions of wealth from the poorest Americans to the richest Americans that this country has ever seen.
According to the CBO, the bill will cause premiums to explode, increasing by 20 percent in the first year. The increases will be particularly devastating for older Americans—by 2026, a 64 year old making around $57,000 will be paying $13,700 a year more in premiums under the Senate repeal bill. The bill would also cause deductibles to skyrocket. Someone making a little more than $11,000 would have a deductible more than half their annual income.
The bill will also gut Medicaid, cutting the program by more than $770 billion. States will be forced to make difficult decisions between providing care for the elderly in nursing homes, the disabled, or young mothers caring for their infant children. The bill will also have a devastating effect on veterans, causing hundreds of thousands of them to lose their coverage.
Close to half the population would be in states that would waive essential health benefits, and would see substantial increases in excluded benefits like maternity coverage and mental health treatment, effectively eliminating pre-existing condition protections for those people. Covering maternity care in these waiver states would cost people an extra $17,320, while care for depression would cost an extra $8,490.
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