Revised healthcare bill projected to yield lower savings over a decade

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The revised version of Republican healthcare legislation to roll back parts of the Affordable Care Act is projected to yield smaller savings over 10 years than the previous version, while largely maintaining the original’s effects on insurance premiums and coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO score of the latest version of the Affordable Health Care Act — as of March 22 — estimated that it would result in net reductions to the federal deficit that are $186bn less between 2017-2026 than the $337bn savings seen in the original version — bringing total net reductions to the deficit to just around $150bn.

The reduction in deficits had been a key selling point among budget-minded Republicans, and the lower figure may not do much to bring recalcitrant members on board.

Meanwhile, the CBO showed that the revised version’s impact on insurance premiums would be roughly the same as those from the original bill — about a 10 per cent reduction to average premiums for individual policyholders in the non-group market by 2026, compared to the current law.

Estimates of how many Americans would have health insurance coverage under the legislation are also roughly equivalent between the two versions, meaning that the original estimates stand that about 24m more people would be uninsured in 2026 than would be under the current law.

The healthcare bill was scheduled to come to a critical first vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday, but that has since been delayed as the White House and Republican leadership try to whip up the necessary votes to ensure its passage through that chamber.

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