On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To the dismay of many, the vote took place before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its cost estimate. Now almost three weeks later, the CBO has released its estimate. The key takeaways include:
- For the period 2017 – 2026, the AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion.
- In 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the AHCA than under the ACA. The number increases to 23 more million people being uninsured by 2026.
- Premiums in the individual market would increase in 2018 and 2019.
- Premiums would be lower on average in states waiving certain ACA requirements but would be unaffordable for many poorer, older individuals. CBO estimates that a 64-year-old earning just above the poverty line would see premiums increase nine-fold.
- Individual insurance markets for one-sixth of the population risk destabilization under last minute amendments to the AHCA.
- The largest savings under the AHCA come from cuts in Medicaid.
- $664 billion in taxes and fees used to finance the ACA would be repealed.