The Congressional Budget Office says the original GOP Senate health care plan would result in 22 million fewer Americans with health coverage. With Senator McCain on the DL for the week, the CBO will take a little more time to score the new Senate plan with the unworkable Cruz amendment.
No one has effectively refuted the CBO’s numbers so far. Even data-averse Team Trump’s leading health care hacks can’t keep their story straight on whether they trust CBO or not, as shown by the traveling medicine show HHS Secretary Tom Price and Medicare chief Seema Verma tried to put on for the National Governors Association over the weekend:
They urged governors to ignore Congressional Budget Office estimates that 15 million fewer people would be covered by Medicaid by 2026 and that $772 billion would be cut from the program, compared to current law, under a Senate Republican bill that would eliminate Obamacare’s expansion of the program.
…But the closed-door session with Price and Verma on Saturday was “pretty atrocious,” said Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy.
…Malloy said he argued with Price and Verma when — after Verma had taken issue with the Congressional Budget Office forecasts of coverage losses — Price cited the CBO analysis to back up a separate point.“They were incredibly inconsistent between themselves,” he said. “They support what they like from CBO, and they attack CBO. But at least the secretary was forced to admit that’s the only public generated analysis” [Eric Bradner, “Governors Skeptical After ‘Pretty Atrocious’ Session with Top Trump Health Officials,” CNN.com, updated 2017.07.17].
In the absence of any coherent argument from Verma, Price, or other Republicans persisting in their petulant charade of “repealing” the Affordable Care Act, CBO’s analysis stands: the ACA provides millions of Americans with affordable coverage that Republicans want to take away.
And research shows that when more people are uninsured, folks with insurance also suffer:
…it is difficult for health providers to maintain services in areas with large numbers of patients who cannot pay for care. “Those communities are less attractive for physicians and other health care providers to locate,” said Ayanian. “That affects access to care for everyone,” he said, particularly for critical but high-cost services like trauma care, burn care and neonatal intensive care.
…Hospitals in sparsely populated areas, particularly in states that did not opt to expand the Medicaid program, have been cutting back services like maternity care or closing altogether in recent years [Julie Rovner, “Millions More Uninsured Could Impact Health of Those with Insurance, Too,” Kaiser Health News, 2017.07.14].
By 2026, 1.45 million fewer people would have jobs. Gross state products would drop by $162 billion and business output would be $265 billion lower, while 919,000 jobs would be lost in health care. More than half a million jobs (534,000) are lost in other sectors, including construction and real estate, finance, retail trade, and public employment. These downward trends would continue after 2026. These losses are substantially worse than the estimated effects of the AHCA [L. Ku, E. Steinmetz, E. Brantley et al., The Better Care Reconciliation Act: Economic and Employment Consequences for States, The Commonwealth Fund, July 2017.].
Did you catch that last line? The GOP Senate bill damages jobs and the economy more than the GOP House bill.
Republicans, do you really want to keep digging this hole?