Wall Street Journal Analysis: What Does the CBO Report on GOP Health Care Plan Mean?

Excellent breakdown in the Wall Street Journal this morning about what we can describe (being only a tad hyperbolic) as the bombshell of a CBO report that landed last night. It says that the American Health Care Act, as passed by the House, would result in 23 million more Americans being uninsured.

The bill would also reduce the federal deficit in the next decade by $119 billion, considerably less than the $337 billion that the original House bill, which the CBO scored back in March, would have cut the deficit by. Budgetary rules stipulate that whatever health care bill becomes law must cut the federal budget.

Figuring all of this out has been a herculean task, in which many aspects of the bill must be weighed. For instance, as the WSJ reports: “The CBO staff has a tough task partly because the revised House bill would let states get waivers from some ACA requirements. Those states could let insurers charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing health conditions who let their coverage lapse. Such states also could roll back the ACA requirement that insurers provide specific benefits.”

The X factor is that no one at the moment knows just how many states would seek the waivers. Some states find waivers irresistible, even those waivers included in the ACA. As Managed Care reported earlier this month, the ACA this year began granting waivers to states as a way of providing more money for addiction services not covered by Medicaid.

The new funding began flowing April 1 and its impact has been dramatic Example: A few months ago, a resident of Virginia who was a Medicaid beneficiary had four facilities available if he wanted to be placed in a residential treatment program for substance abuse. Now, that resident has 71 such facilities to choose from.

Source: Wall Street Journal