An estimated 22 million more people would lose health insurance by 2026 under the latest Republican-led Senate bill to reform health care than if the Affordable Care Act remained in place, according to a report released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The reworked version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which failed to earn enough support for a vote this week, would reduce the federal deficit by $420 billion over the next decade, according to the new analysis. The earlier version of the bill would have cut the deficit by only $321 billion.
Senators were able to make larger cuts to the deficit in their latest version of the bill by preserving certain taxes that Republicans had killed in the older version. They found more savings by reducing and ending certain federal matching funds and capping per-capita-based payments for Medicaid. According to the budget office, the latest Senate bill still cuts deep into Medicaid, eliminating $756 billion from the program over 10 years, compared to the $772 billion the earlier version sought to eliminate.
Still, the number of uninsured Americans in the latest bill changed little from the first version of the Senate health care bill, which would also leave 22 million more Americans without health insurance, the budget office said in June.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after a lunch with President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, faced with a lack of support for the latest version of the health care bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would instead push for a full repeal of Obamacare, with a two-year deadline to develop new health care infrastructure. But on Wednesday, President Donald Trump invited McConnell and other Republican senators to a White House lunch to talk about the health care efforts. (The August recess shouldn’t happen unless he has legislation on his desk, Trump told lawmakers.)
The CBO said 32 million more people would lose insurance by 2026 if the Affordable Care Act was repealed and not replaced. A recent AP-NORC poll showed only 13 percent of Americans support repealing Obamacare without other health care infrastructure in place.
After the Wednesday lunch at the White House, some senators were still trying to save the revised health care legislation, rather than repeal Obamacare altogether. To revive the bill, they will need 50 of the GOP’s 52 votes in the Senate.
This is the latest installment in a series of budget office reports on the Republican efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
In March, the budget office said 24 million more people would be uninsured under the plan that emerged from the Republican-led House of Representatives. And in May, the office found the revised House health care bill, which passed on a 217-213 vote, would lower federal deficits by $119 billion but leave 23 million more people than if Obamacare was left in place over the next decade.