American Health Care Act - grade incomplete


Observations, ideas and notes about people, places and events.

Congressional Budget Office Estimate:

How many have even bothered to read the CBO estimate of the Senate's American Health Care Act? It's amazing reading.

First the provisions:

  • Eliminate the individual and employer mandates to buy or provide insurance. Large employers (whatever these are) could apparently be penalized after 2024 (or after the 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024 elections).
  • Increase the amount you can put in a Health Savings Account in 2018, 2019 and 2020. What happens then?
  • Increase money going to Community Health Centers (CHC) which provide free primary and preventive care whether you can pay or  not. So if you don't buy insurance, why not go for the free stuff to a CHC? Where are these places? Maine? Alaska? Arizona?
  • Prohibit money going to abortion providers for one year. Why would it be ok after a year?

Next the Estimates:

  • CBO estimates the loss due to providing AHCA will decrease by about $179 billion in one part and $184 billion in another pool of funds. That's a savings to we the people of $363 billion from the money we're already pouring into Obamacare.
  • CBO estimates costs will increase a total of 20% by 2026. That's a rate of 2.2% a year. Compare that to Obamacare's increase rate of between 20 and 30% a year.
  • CBO estimates the number of people without insurance will increase from 26 million to about 42 million. Almost all of the increase is in one year.
  • CBO does not describe any assumptions or any basis for any of it's estimates. None are provided in the document. Are we really paying a bunch of people to come up with a four page document that impacts 20% of GDP and its assumptions are not spelled out?
  • Why are there no descriptions of alternate scenarios with estimates for each? For example if insurance is cheaper, wouldn't more people buy it given it could cost a lot more the following year?
  • From a taxpayer's viewpoint, this is a disgrace. From the Senate's viewpoint, they should advise the CBO that this is unacceptable.