- About 18 million Americans would lose health insurance coverage in the first year if portions of the ACA were repealed, a new Congressional Budget Office report estimated.
- The report, which scored HR 3762 (the reconciliation bill President Obama vetoed last year), found as much as 32 million individuals could lose health coverage by 2026 if Medicaid expansion programs and ACA subsidies were to be eliminated.
- Premiums in the individual market could see an increase ranging between 20% and 25% in the first year post-repeal, the CBO estimated, adding if Republicans were to do away with Medicaid expansions and subsidies, this percentage would amount to 50% and all premiums could double by 2026.
Even though Congress inched closer toward an ACA repeal last week with the House passage of a budget that paves the way to get rid off parts of the federal healthcare law, the GOP has yet to present a "scorable" ACA replacement plan. CBO's guesstimates do not score or take into account a replacement plan. The report is best looked at as what could be the "worst case scenario" as the marketplaces could be stabilized with a replacement plan, as noted by The Huffington Post.
CBO's report adds to the estimates of HR 3762's impacts to the industry. An analysis by healthcare economics firm Dobson DaVanzo last month estimated an ACA repeal sans simultaneous replacement could cost hospitals $165.8 billion in federal payments through 2026. Last month, Urban Institute analyzed HR 3762 and estimated providers could experience a $1.1 trillion increase in uncompensated care from 2019 to 2028 if the ACA is repealed via reconciliation.
While Republicans look to dismantle the ACA, the law has never been more popular, at least according to one poll. NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found 45% of Americans reported the law is "a good idea," which is the largest percentage recorded by NBC/WSJ since 2009.