Congressional Budget Office: Repealing Affordable Care Act without Replacement Would Result in 32 Million Uninsured

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) wasted no time in reporting that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without any replacement plan would result in 32 million Americans becoming uninsured by the year 2026. A significant percentage of that impact would be immediate, with 17 million Americans losing their health insurance next year.  The rate of uninsured would jump from 10% to 16% in 2018. The CBO also estimates that average health insurance premiums in the individual market would increase by 25% next year and by nearly 100%, or double, by the year 2026.  Because the repeal (without any replacement) would eliminate the requirements for health plans to offer affordable health insurance, as well as the federal subsidies that help individuals pay for that health insurance, those individual health insurance markets would gradually collapse because of a lack of affordability. The CBO estimates that in ten years (by the year 2026), 3 out of every 4 Americans would live in health insurance markets where NO health plans would be offering ANY individual health insurance at all. By 2026, a staggering 21% of Americans, or 59 million individuals, would be uninsured, significantly higher than the percentage of uninsured Americans prior to the enactment of the ACA.

Repeal of the ACA without any replacement would result in a $842 billion cut to the Medicaid program, shifting those billions of dollars in costs to states (who would have to find state revenues to pay for these health care costs their states), health care providers (who would see lower reimbursement rates), and those low-income, disabled, and elderly Americans who now rely on Medicaid (who would lose coverage for some types of health care, have much higher co-payments, or lose coverage altogether). The CBO estimates that 19 million Americans would lose Medicaid coverage by the year 2026.

The CBO issued these estimates just hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made available the latest legislative proposal to repeal the ACA. These estimated impacts are highest levels of uninsurance and premiums – the worst outcomes – than any prior legislative proposal to repeal and/or replace the ACA.

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