A revived bill that would dismantle large parts of Obamacare without an immediate replacement would leave 32 million more people uninsured and double premiums over a decade, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report Wednesday.The legislation — an update of the repeal measure nearly all GOP senators voted for in 2015 — is on track to reach the Senate floor early next week, where it likely would fail.
Republican leaders pledged to put the bill to a vote after their initial effort to repeal and replace Obamacare fell apart in stunning fashion, though a number of holdout lawmakers are meeting later tonight to try to salvage the effort.
If that fails, CBO’s analysis offers a stark look at the GOP’s remaining option for following through on their seven-year vow to repeal Obamacare.
The nonpartisan scorekeeper’s report projects that 17 million people would lose insurance in the first year after a partial repeal that includes ending Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and repealing most of the taxes tied to the law. Premiums would jump 25 percent over that same period as insurers grapple with the effective elimination of Obamacare’s requirement that everyone purchase coverage.
The bill would slash the deficit by $473 billion over a decade, the agency said.
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Those findings are in line with CBO’s estimates for the original 2015 bill in January and far outstrip the coverage losses associated with the Senate GOP’s own repeal bill. CBO predicted that the Better Care Reconciliation Act would leave 22 million people uninsured over a decade, a figure that alarmed more moderate Republicans and played a major role in the collapsse of the legislation.
This updated, "repeal only" bill would fund Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies for two years, an important difference from 2015 that would temporarily alleviate uncertainty for insurers relying on the money to help enrollees with out-of-pocket costs.