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CBO Score Estimates Loss of Coverage for 23 Million Under AHCA  

May 24, 2017
Harrisburg, PA –  Today the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released its updated analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network released the following statement:

 “This new CBO estimate shows that 23 million Americans would lose coverage in the next decade.  The GOP bill to repeal the ACA and radically restructure Medicaid still leaves millions without health coverage, still waters down coverage, and still eliminates protections by putting insurance companies back in charge. It hurts kids, seniors, people with disabilities, and low income Pennsylvanians through devastating and permanent cuts to Medicaid. This plan goes far beyond repealing the Affordable Care Act by imposing artificial, unrealistic caps on funding to healthcare for vulnerable Pennsylvanians. In Pennsylvania, Medicaid provides coverage for  3 out of 5 seniors in nursing homes, 2 out of 5 kids, and covers 1 out of 2 individuals with a disability. It would effectively end Medicaid Expansion for 718,000 Pennsylvanians by cutting funding to the program. This plan’s deep cuts will hurt our families and state budget for years with a projected potential loss to Pennsylvania of $24.8 billion over the next decade under a per capita cap system. In 2015 sixty-one percent of federal funds in our state budget are comprised of federal Medicaid funds, with three-quarters of all Medicaid spending in Pennsylvania going to care for seniors and people with disabilities.  Our members of Congress should immediately reject this plan or any plan that will increase the number of uninsured, end Medicaid expansion, end Medicaid as know it through per capita caps or block grants or makes coverage unaffordable for hardworking families.”

 

Below are specifics on what is included in the plan:

Ends Medicaid Expansion

Makes it impossible for states to continue Medicaid expansion. In Pennsylvania, nearly 1 in 5 of Medicaid Expansion enrollees have been treated for a substance use disorder, and this bill would take away the most important tool in fighting the opioid crisis.

 

Sets the stage for deep cuts to funding for Medicaid through per-capita caps

To help pay for their plan, it creates caps to Medicaid funding that will ultimately result in shifting responsibility to the states — leaving our governor and legislature with a potential $24.8 billion deficit over 10 years.

 

Reduces tax credits making coverage less affordable

Puts coverage out of reach for millions of moderate-income families by reducing tax credits that make coverage affordable. A recent analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation found that many would pay thousands more.

 

Higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs

For those who keep coverage, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will rise, especially for older people who could now be charged 5 time or more for coverage.

 

Undermines protections for those with pre-existing conditions 

More than half of Pennsylvanians have a pre-existing condition, and potential changes in the law could force them to pay more than 15% above the national average for coverage.

 

Provides health savings accounts for the rich 

Health savings accounts are great if you have lots of extra money, for people living paycheck-to-paycheck, this doesn’t make health care more affordable or accessible. They’re another tax break for the rich.

 

Defunds Planned Parenthood

Risks cutting off essential care from millions of patients who depend on Planned Parenthood for their care.