Finally, the numbers are in for TrumpCare and it’s not awful, but it is not great either…
Roughly 24 million more people would be uninsured over a decade if the House Republican Obamacare repeal bill is enacted, according to a much-anticipated Congressional Budget Office analysis that could threaten GOP hopes of getting the measure through the House in the coming weeks.
The legislation would lead to 14 million more people being uninsured in 2018 alone. The nonpartisan scorekeeping office also forecast the GOP plan would cut the deficit by $337 billion over a decade, primarily because of the legislation’s cuts to Medicaid and private insurance subsidies.
The Trump administration spent the weekend tempering the expectations for not only the GOP base but also the news media as whole seemingly knowing that the numbers would not be good. The numbers were not that great, and the Trump administration has already dismissed the findings.
“We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out,” Price told reporters after leaving a Cabinet meeting with Trump. “We believe that our plan will cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want for the coverage that they want for themselves and for their families, not that the government forces them to buy.”
The numbers weren’t all bad. In fact, many conservative-leaning news outlets jumped on not only the budget reduction projections but also the lowered premiums.
The American Health Care Act, the Republican replacement to the Affordable Care Act, is estimated to reduce the deficit by $337 billion from 2017 to 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s scoringof the legislation.
During this time, the budget office also projects that spending will be reduced by $1.2 trillion and government revenues will be reduced by $0.9 trillion.
The budget office projects that average premiums will rise in the short term, rising by 15 to 20 percent in 2018 and 2019. However, by 2026, average premiums will be 10 percent lower than they are now.
The deficit reduction is awesome to see, but let’s also not forget ObamaCare was expected to reduce the deficit by 82 billion back in 2009. The real problem for the GOP is selling as something the average American cares about. Wonks will love it. Deficit hawks will love it. However, average voter could really care less about saving a few hundred billion dollars if it means they’re premiums are going up. This is why the biggest selling point of the CBO’s report is the projected premium reductions.
Yes, the savings are 10 years away and yes, 10 percent doesn’t sound like a big number. However, the GOP needs to promote premium reductions because saving families money was the big selling point of the ACA. We all remember vividly President Obama’s argument that his plan would save the average family $2,500 dollars. Of course, Obama’s numbers were completely ridiculous and how he came up with them was even more insane but it worked. If the GOP wants to have any chance of selling this to the American people, saving people money is going to be the way to go.
SIDE NOTE: There are a lot of arguments out there currently about the effectiveness of the CBO. There is a great piece at the Weekly Standard about the failed projections of the CBO when it came to ObamaCare. However, TPM countered this its own piece on the unpredictability of human nature and how the projections overall were pretty accurate.