24m would become uninsured by 2026 under GOP health plan – CBO

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The proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act could lead to 24m people becoming uninsured in less than a decade’s time, according to a report by the Congressional budget watchdog.

Republicans have put forward controversial plans to overhaul the healthcare market, following pledges by President Donald Trump and others to scrap former president Barack Obama’s healthcare plan.

A highly anticipated report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation shows that the changes could have far-reaching consequences for many citizens.

In 2018, 14m more people would be uninsured under the new legislation compared with the existing law, the report said. That would rise to an additional 21m in 2020 and 24m in 2026.

As a result, by 2026 an estimated 52m people would be uninsured compared with 28m who lack insurance under the current law.

The analysis by the CBO and the JCT also finds that average premiums for single policyholders would be 15 per cent to 20 per cent higher than under the current law, but would “lower average premiums thereafter.”

The report also finds that the legislation – called the American Health Care Act – would reduce federal budget deficits by $337bn over the 2017-2026 period, because of a reduction in spending on Medicaid and the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for non-group health insurance.

The findings contradict Mr Trump’s claim before taking office that his healthcare plan would provide “insurance for everybody”. Ahead of the report some administration officials played down the accuracy of past CBO research. Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said last week “if you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy you’re looking in the wrong place.”

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