Criticism mounted against the American Health Care Act — the Republicans’ new healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, upon the March 13 release of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report assessing the proposal.
The CBO report estimated that enacting the American Health Care Act would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the coming decade, but increase the number of people who are uninsured to 14 million in 2018, and 24 million in 2026 relative to the current law.
Reactions to the CBO’s findings came swiftly. Congressional Black Caucus Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02) released the following statement: “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just confirmed that the Republican healthcare bill will be a disaster for the American people…
“The CBO projects that premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs under the Republican healthcare bill will increase, making healthcare unaffordable for tens of millions of Americans. Additionally, the bill will secretly give the wealthiest Americans a tax break that the rest of the country will pay for.”
Many health groups — including the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association and AARP — had already denounced the bill in advance of the CBO report, with AARP stating the proposal would “raise premiums and weaken Medicare.”
In a released statement, Gov. Mark Dayton outlined how Minnesota’s vulnerable — low-income, middle-income, and older Minnesotans — would be hurt the most by the GOP’s plan.
“The House Republican bill limits Medicaid funding,” the statement read. “Minnesota could lose as much as $2 billion in federal funds for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare within 18 months. This would put coverage at risk for 1.2 million Minnesota seniors, children, and people with disabilities. Furthermore, their plan would give $275 billion in tax cuts to the richest Americans over the next 10 years…”
The governor’s statement acknowledged that changes are needed in health care at both the state and federal level and touted his proposal MinnesotaCare Buy-In, to give Minnesotans increased options while reducing costs across the state.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), who has become the face of the Republican plan, issued a statement in response to the CBO’s scoring, largely focusing on the report’s budget-reducing findings. Ryan said the bill has potential to be a “fundamental entitlement reform” that will provide massive tax relief and dramatically reduce the deficit. He also said the GOP plan will provide more choices and claimed there would be a “stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them” if the bill passed.
Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN-5) urged concerned citizens to stay engaged and active in opposition of the plan: “In 2015, Donald Trump said his health care reform plan would let people ‘have their plans’ and ‘cover everything.’ These claims have turned out to be false…” stated Ellison in a press release.
“Now is the time for working people all over the country to let their voices be heard in opposition to this bill. Now is the time for seniors and all Americans to say ‘no’ to these failed Republican policies,” said Ellison.
Since 1975, the nonpartisan CBO has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.
To view the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, go to www.cbo.gov/publication/52486.