Policy

CBO: 32 Million Would Lose Coverage Under Prior GOP Repeal Bill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York was one of the Democrats who ordered a CBO review of a previous GOP effort to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A previous attempt by Republicans to dismantle the 2010 health care overhaul would increase the number of uninsured individuals by 32 million people and nearly double the premium costs for individual insurance plans in the law’s marketplace by 2026, according to a report released Monday by the Congressional Budget Office.

The report, which was requested by Senate Democrats, estimates that a GOP bill to repeal the health care law would increase the number of individuals without insurance by 18 million in the first year following enactment. Premiums for plans purchased in the individual marketplace would increase by up to 25 percent in the same time period, CBO found. The analysis was of legislation that President Barack Obama vetoed last year.

Republican lawmakers and aides have pointed to the legislation as a blueprint for their current efforts to repeal the health law. That legislation included an immediate elimination of the enforcement of the law’s employer and individual mandate penalties. It would have also ended the law’s Medicaid expansion and subsidy payments two years after enactment.

“[It’s] crystal clear that the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act will increase health care costs for millions of Americans and kick millions more off of their health insurance. The numbers are even worse than experts could have imagined: tens of millions will lose their health insurance, and individuals will see their premiums double,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, one of the lawmakers that requested the report, said in a statement about CBO’s findings.

Republicans defended their approach.

“This projection is meaningless, as it takes into account no measures to replace the law nor actions that the incoming administration will take to revitalize the individual market that has been decimated by Obamacare,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., in an email.

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