CBO: Health bill would leave 23 million more uninsured

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the latest version of the American Health Care Act on Wednesday. There is a lot of uncertainty in implementation of the bill and what decisions each state would make so, of course, these are just estimates. But we’ve collected some of the coverage and statements about the CBO score to help our readers make sense of the key points.


The Joint Committee on Taxation also released its report , “Estimated Revenue Effects Of The Tax Provisions Contained In Title II Of H.R. 1628, The “America Health Care Act Of 2017,” As Passed By The House Of Representatives.”

Before the CBO score was released, there were some explanations about what to expect and what to look for when it came out that serve as good background:

Some links to the news about the CBO’s report:

From The Associated Press: House GOP health bill projection: 23 million more uninsured

The Wall Street Journal: House GOP Health Bill Leaves Fewer Uninsured, but Doesn’t Cut Deficit as Much as Earlier Plan, CBO Says

Bruce Japsen at Forbes.com: House Health Bill Tosses 23M Off Insurance, CBO Says

Brooke Singman of Fox News: CBO Score: Republicans, Democrats react

Ted Barrett of CNN: GOP plan critics, fans see what they want in CBO score

Dylan Scott of Vox: CBO: final House bill would still leave 23 million more Americans uninsured

“House leaders were criticized intensely for having their members vote on the bill without a full report on its possible effects on May 4. Three weeks later, the consequences of that vote, if the bill as written were to become law, are finally clear.”

Adam Cancryn of Politico: CBO: House Obamacare repeal bill would leave 23 million more uninsured:

“The nonpartisan office also forecasts the GOP plan would cut the deficit by $119 billion over a decade, primarily because of its cuts to Medicaid and private insurance subsidies.
“That’s nearly identical to the coverage losses that CBO forecast for an earlier version of the bill — despite the addition of new provisions and billions in funding aimed at keeping more people insured.”

Robert King and Kimberly Leonard of The Washington Examiner: CBO: 23 million uninsured but $119 billion deficit with revised healthcare bill

“The report on the American Health Care Act includes an evaluation of the most recent additions to the bill, which would allow states to apply for waivers to opt out of certain Obamacare requirements for insurers and add billions of dollars for the creation of high-risk pools to help insure people with pre-existing illnesses.”

And some opinions from interested parties:

Opinion column by Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Obama administration: Republican health care bill fails the Jimmy Kimmel test. Again.

The American Medical Association released a statement from its president, Andrew W. Gurman, M.D.:

“Today’s estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show that last-minute changes to the AHCA made by the House offered no real improvements.  Millions of Americans will become uninsured–with low-income families on Medicaid being hit the hardest.

“We urge the Senate to ensure that any changes made to current law do not cause Americans to lose access to affordable, meaningful health insurance coverage.”

Richard Besser, M.D., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former chief health and medical editor at ABC News, said in part:

“The nonpartisan CBO estimates indicate that our nation will be moving away from everyone being able to have affordable health care, which is a step in the wrong direction. Solutions to fix the issues with our health care system must be comprehensive and first, do no harm.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Children, Health and Human Services Committee, issued a statement that said, in part:

“Today’s CBO score confirms that the American Health Care Act of 2017 would put millions of people in our cities in jeopardy.

“The bill throws a one-two punch — stripping 23 million people of their insurance and applying skyrocketing premiums to others, particularly those who can least afford it.


Check back for a blog post about the CBO score from health reform core topic leader Joanne Kenen on Thursday.

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