WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found in its analysis of the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act that it will cause at least 24 million people to lose coverage while providing tremendous tax benefits to the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the country.
“CBO confirmed this week that the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with ‘TrumpCare’ is nothing more than an attack on the poor and elderly,” Rep. Grijalva said. “24 million people will lose coverage if the GOP manages to force this bill through Congress. Many will choose to forgo health insurance because this bill incentivizes young, healthy people without coverage to remain uninsured. That means higher premiums for everyone else, and particularly the elderly who will no longer be protected from price gouging the way they currently are under the ACA.
“The only winners under the GOP’s healthcare repeal are wealthy Americans who stand to pocket a $600 billion windfall in tax breaks. Those cuts, and the meager deficit reduction in this scheme, come at a heavy price for working families and people on Medicaid. For millions of Americans, ‘TrumpCare’ will go down in history as the healthcare equivalent of Trump University – that is to say, a complete and utter sham.”
The full CBO analysis is available here.
Key Findings of the CBO Report
- 24 million Americans will lose their health coverage – including 14 million in 2018 alone;
- Under the GOP bill, 19 percent of the nonelderly population will be uninsured in 2026, compared to 10 percent in 2026 under current law.
- The bill would have the effect of slashing Medicaid by $880 billion over the next 10 years.
- Under the GOP bill, a 64-year-old with an income of $26,500 in the individual market will pay $12,900 more in their premiums each year.
- By defunding Planned Parenthood for one year, the bill would have the result of many women losing access to care, including contraceptives and other family planning services.
- The bill gives $600 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations – including $2.8 billion to the 400 richest families in America alone.
Impacts of Republican Repeal in Arizona
The Individual Market
- Older and lower-income Arizonans would be most at risk of losing coverage under the AHCA’s tax credits. In general, when compared to the Affordable Care Act, the AHCA tax credits would be worse for lower-income and older Arizonans, and better for higher-income and younger Arizonans. (Source)
- Reduced Federal subsidies would disproportionately hurt Arizona. Arizona’s premiums on the individual market are more expensive than the rest of the county. Under the Affordable Care Act, Arizonans receive large subsidies to help cover these high costs; however, under the AHCA, reduced subsidies would leave many Arizonans without enough assistance to afford coverage. (Source)
- Charging individuals 30% more for returning to the market may push them away from regaining coverage. The AHCA would allow insurers to charge 30% higher premiums to consumers whose coverage lapses for more than 63 days. If this idea were applied in 2016, 30 million Americans would have faced these higher premiums. (Source)
- Risk pools in the individual market could become less stable due to the delay between AHCA’s repeal of the individual mandate and its implementation of continuous coverage. The AHCA would eliminate the individual mandate penalty effective Dec. 31, 2015, and enact continuous coverage penalties based on 2018 coverage status. Having neither provision in 2017 could deter healthy individuals from maintaining coverage, thereby creating sicker, and more expensive risk pools.
- The repeal of Medicaid expansion would leave many low-income Arizonans without affordable options on the individual market. Low-income Arizonans who lose coverage following the repeal of Medicaid expansion would likely need to transition to the individual market – where the combination of Arizona’s high premiums and AHCA’s decreased financial assistance could push Arizonans away from obtaining coverage. (Source)
- As proposed, per-capita caps would require Arizona’s Medicaid program to a) reduce eligibility and benefits for consumers, b) reduce payments for hospitals and providers, or c) reduce consumer choice in providers. (Source)
- The AHCA could place Arizonans at risk of infectious disease outbreaks and chronic diseases with its repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The fund currently provides $9.3M annually to Arizona’s public health infrastructure for services including kids’ vaccines, opioid abuse treatment, infectious disease control and breast cancer prevention. (Source)
# # #