Donald Trump promised “insurance for everybody”:
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better” [Robert Costa and Amy Goldstein, “Trump Vows ‘Insurance for Everybody’ in Obamacare Replacement Plan,” Washington Post, 2017.01.15].
Donald Trump must plan to veto the House Republican health care plan, which will take coverage away from 24 million Americans:
CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.
Later, following additional changes to subsidies for insurance purchased in the nongroup market and to the Medicaid program, the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026. The reductions in insurance coverage between 2018 and 2026 would stem in large part from changes in Medicaid enrollment—because some states would discontinue their expansion of eligibility, some states that would have expanded eligibility in the future would choose not to do so, and per-enrollee spending in the program would be capped. In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law [Congressional Budget Office, summary of report on American Health Care Act, 2017.03.13].
The Trump Administration is trying to poo-poo the CBO’s well-researched numbers by pointing out that the CBO overestimated the number of people who would get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Um, Donald… (1) that’s not the argument you want to make, because if CBO is making the same mistake here, then they are overestimating the people who will remain insured under your plan, and (2) lower-than-expected enrollment came from employers making good decisions and several states making bad decisions:
The number of people who have signed up for insurance through the health law’s exchanges is lower than expected, in part because employers did not drop coverage to the extent that had been anticipated. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that states could not be compelled to expand Medicaid — and many Republican-led states did not [Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear, “Health Bill Would Add 24 Million Uninsured But Save $337 Billion, Report Says,” New York Times, 2017.03.13].
And heck, even if we generously assign the White House some lingering thread of credibility, their calculations show even more people losing coverage than the CBO’s:
According to documents viewed by POLITICO, the OMB analysis intended to assess the coverage and spending outcomes of the legislation.
The analysis found that under the American Health Care Act, the coverage losses would include 17 million for Medicaid, 6 million in the individual market and 3 million in employer-based plans.
A total of 54 million individuals would be uninsured in 2026 under the GOP plan, according to this White House analysis. That’s nearly double the number projected under current law [Paul Demko, “White House Analysis of Obamacare Repeal Sees Even Deeper Insurance Losses Than CBO,” Politico, updated 2017.03.14].
I stand by my three criteria for health care reform: show me a plan that insures more people, provides better care, and decreases how much Americans pay for health care, and I’ll vote for it over the Affordable Care Act. The CBO and the White House apparently agree that the current Republican plan does not meet the first criterion. Trump’s “insurance for everybody” lie is now laid bare.
House GOP, take two?