News: 2017 Press Release
For Release: May 24, 2017
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CBO analysis: Trumpcare leaves 23 million without coverage
Commissioner Jones decries premium increases, narrow coverage and destabilized market following CBO analysis
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement following today's release of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as "Trumpcare":
"When House Republicans voted for Trumpcare earlier this month, they were focused on gutting the Affordable Care Act so money would be freed for a $900 billion tax cut for the wealthy and health insurers.
House Republicans ignored how many people would lose their health insurance and the dire health implications for their constituents who stand to lose coverage for essential health services even if they don't lose their coverage.
Now that the CBO numbers are in, the CBO analysis confirms our worst fears about people losing health insurance and access to critical health care services thanks to Trumpcare. CBO estimates that 14 million Americans would be uninsured in 2018 as a result of this bill, increasing to 19 million in 2020 and 23 million Americans in 2026. By 2026, CBO estimates that 51 million Americans would be uninsured. This loss of coverage would fall most heavily on those helped by the Medicaid program; CBO projects 14 million fewer Americans will receive such coverage by 2026, a 17 percent decrease from current levels.
The cost sharing assistance that makes health care affordable for millions of Americans is eliminated by the bill passed by House Republicans. Premium assistance is reduced overall. Older Americans will also see their premiums increase. Further, the CBO stated that the increase in the number of uninsured "would be disproportionately larger among older people with lower income," particularly those between 50 and 64 years old. The bill threatens the stability of the health insurance markets, which will result in premium increases and the increased likelihood that some insurers will just abandon the market, making coverage more difficult to find. The bill also cuts off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood which makes reproductive health care services, including contraceptives and cancer screenings, available to 1 million Californians annually.
The Trumpcare bill, as passed, would permit states to seek waivers from requirements regarding community rating and essential health benefits. The CBO estimates that half of the nation's population resides in states that would seek such waivers, but that, while premiums in those states would be lower, out-of-pocket costs for consumers would be higher. Also, in those states, premiums for people who are less healthy would be "substantially higher;" their out-of-pocket expenses would also "substantially increase." The plan for high-risk pools is underfunded, and will strand people with serious medical conditions with unaffordable coverage. The CBO also notes that the provision of the Trumpcare bill regarding waivers for essential health benefits requirements could result in the return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, currently banned by the ACA, in the employer plans that many Americans rely on for their health coverage.
Every Republican in California's Congressional delegation acted with callous disregard for the health care needs of their constituents by voting to eliminate health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Now we face a destabilized health market with rising rates, weaker coverage, increased premiums and a massive tax break that benefits the wealthy."
# # #Media Notes:
A few highlights from the CBO report:
- "…substantial uncertainty about how the new law would be implemented could lead insurers to withdraw from or not enter the nongroup market."
- "…the new tax credits…would generally be less generous for those receiving subsidies under current law…"
- "Community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with pre-existing or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all…"
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.