The Congressional Budget Office, tasked with providing Congress with a nonpartisan assessment of the effects of proposed legislation, has finally released its analysis of the Republican healthcare replacement plan – and it’s abundantly clearly why Paul Ryan tried to pass the bill before the CBO was able to take a look. It’s a bloodbath.
For starters, the CBO calculates that as many as 14 million people will lose their insurance within the year, many of which only recently started having health insurance thanks to the ACA. As a “replacement” this plan is clearly inferior. Even worse, by 2026, 24 million more people will be uninsured as compared to this very moment. America will see a near total collapse of the health care system as we currently understand it.
Republicans argue that tens of millions more without health insurance is okay because they are saving America money. The CBO suggests the savings would be almost nonexistent relative to the costs (not to mention the human suffering). They calculate that GOP’s bill will only save around $300 billion over a decade. Compared to the trillions of dollars that are budgeted out each year, that’s a rounding error.
— Marc Goldwein (@MarcGoldwein) March 13, 2017
They also argue that this disruption will actually cost America around a trillion dollars in lost revenue, offsetting much of the savings it hopes to gain by cutting spending.
CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period. That total consists of $323 billion in on-budget savings and $13 billion in off-budget savings. Outlays [i.e. what the government spends] would be reduced by $1.2 trillion over the period, and revenues would be reduced by $0.9 trillion.
Yeah, this is very, very bad.
And Republicans did not want the American people to see this.
WH reading CBO pic.twitter.com/lLkWPXkZei
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) March 13, 2017
Ryan’s response will likely be the same one that he’s been giving all week. The tens of millions who are about to lose their insurance are actually enjoying the “benefits” of…choice. “Choice,” in his mind, translates to being rich and having health insurance (also a tax break) or poor and not having health insurance. That’s freedom to Paul Ryan. What a guy.
The CBO’s review only reinforces the fact that the Republicans had 8 years to come up with a replacement plan, failed to do so, and when pressed quickly created one that is inferior to the ACA in every single way. The level of incompetence and cruelty required to draft something like this continues to remain astonishing.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images