CBO releases score for Senate’s health care bill

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 Senate’s health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), on Monday afternoon.

This came hours after Senate Republicans released a revised version of the bill that adds a provision to penalize people who let their insurance coverage lapse for an extended period. People who let their health insurance lapse for longer than 63 days but then wanted to re-enroll would have to wait six months. The CBO score does take that revision into account in its analysis.

The CBO found that, if this legislation were to be enacted, it would:

  • Reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-26 period by $321 billion. That is $202 billion more than the estimated savings for the American Health Care Act that passed the House in May.
  • The Senate bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law, slightly fewer than the increase in the number of uninsured estimated for the House-passed legislation.
  • By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
  • Imposing that six-month waiting period for those who let their insurance lapse would, CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation expect, slightly increase the number of people with insurance, on net, throughout the 2018-2026 period — but not in 2019, when the incentives to obtain coverage would be weak because premiums would be relatively high.

Here is an assortment of coverage of the CBO score:

Other developments

And some interesting observations from Twitter about the bill and the CBO’s report:

Earlier coverage:

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