Millions Would Lose Health Coverage Under the GOP Sponsored American Health Care Act

"Coverage matters when it comes to preventing disease and ensuring health and well-being. Unfortunately, this bill, as written, will result in more people losing coverage they desperately need. ... We know that the absence of health insurance translates into premature death for many."

Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association

On Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the much anticipated scoring and analysis  of the proposed American Health Care Act and the news was every bit as bad as anticipated. Here are just a few of the key take away points, and links to more in-depth analyses:

  • 14 million people would lose their health insurance in the first year. According to Dan Diamond at Politico, it would mean that President Trump would oversee the largest one-year jump in the rate of uninsured Americans in history.

    • 6 million in the non-group market;
    • roughly 5 million under Medicaid;
    • about 2 million with employment-based coverage.  
  • By 2026, the number of uninsured would grow to 24 million due to:
    • Effectively ending the Medicaid expansion and $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid spending over the next decade, would put at risk our most vulnerable individuals - disabled, seniors and children.  
    • Decline in employment-based coverage because fewer employees would take up the offer of such coverage in the absence of the individual mandate penalties.
    • There will be older individuals who will no longer be able to afford coverage due to rising premiums and declining credits in the individual market.
  • Older individuals would pay up to 5 times what younger people pay for the same coverage. Currently, the ratio is 3:1. According to Vox.com, a low-income 64-year-old could see his or her premiums go up by as much as 750%.
  • These cuts result in only $337 billion in savings to the federal deficit over 10 years, because the bill provides over $600 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations.
  • The CBO estimate of 24 million losing coverage is well below that cited in an internal White House document as reported by Paul Demko in Politico.

It is now clear that the AHCA does almost none of the things promised. It drives up, not down, the rate of the uninsured and it does nothing to improve quality.  Any promise to lower costs is undercut by the fact that it does so by raising premiums on older and poorer Americans, who will then lose their coverage. The cut of $880 billion from Medicaid and slashing of prevention funding will leave states holding the bag. In fact, the AHCA will mean that individuals will suffer both with their health and their finances in order to provide huge tax breaks to wealthy families and corporations. This is unacceptable.

Jeananne Sciabarra, Executive Director, Consumer Health First

 Let's work together to make sure that Maryland keeps moving forward on the path to health equity. Go to our "Call To Action" page for specific actions you can take TODAY to help defeat these bills, and download our fact sheet and information card to share with colleagues, friends, and neighbors.