The Congressional Budget Office has released its “score” of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the bottom line is that the AHCA will cost the cancer community greatly.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a non-partisan agency that is tasked with analyzing proposed legislation to determine its financial impact. Most recently the CBO analyzed the House passed bill designed to make major changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The CBO concluded that while the bill would reduce the overall federal deficit by $199 billion over a 10 year period, it would do so at the cost of Americans.
The biggest savings would come from cutting Medicaid, a programs that provides coverage to individuals with low incomes and disabilities. The second largest cost savings would come from reducing the financial assistance that is currently available to many people who purchase individual health insurance through the ACA Marketplaces.
As a result of these changes, the report estimates that by 2026, 23 million Americans would be without health insurance. The CBO also notes that the AHCA could mean some Americans would buy policies that don’t cover “major medical risks.” The CBO doesn’t consider those individuals to be insured due to the policies’ inadequate coverage.
According to the CBO, under the AHCA “it would become more difficult for less healthy people (including people with preexisting medical conditions) in [some] states to purchase insurance because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly.” Additionally, the AHCA would result in higher premiums for older, less healthy Americans.
Although none of this information is unexpected, the CBO report confirms our beliefs that the AHCA would undoubtedly harm the cancer community. But remember the AHCA is not law yet! The Senate has to pass a bill, the two versions have to be reconciled, and then the President has to sign it into law. So there is still time to act!
Contact your Senators, go to town halls being hosted by your elected officials, and educate yourself on how this law could really impact you.
Stay tuned to this blog as we will provide updates as more information becomes available. Also, please join us on June 21, 2017 for a free webinar – An Update to Our Health Care System. It is open to all and we are providing free CEUs for health care professionals. Register today!