Last night, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the House Republican alternative health care bill. While the CBO determined the GOP bill’s 10 year price tag to be $61 billion — far less that the Democrats’ proposal — the score also found that the their bill would have little effect on nearly 46 million uninsured Americans:
By 2019, CBO and JCT estimate, the number of nonelderly people without health insurance would be reduced by about 3 million relative to current law, leaving about 52 million nonelderly residents uninsured. The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, roughly in line with the current share. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the amendment’s insurance coverage provisions would increase deficits by $8 billion over the 2010–2019 period.
The CBO found that the Democrats’ bill, however, would cover 36 million more Americans and “reduce the number of nonelderly Americans without coverage to around 18 million over the next decade.” Yet, just before the CBO scored the GOP bill, a spokesperson for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) falsely claimed their alternative “will cover millions more Americans” than the Democrats’ bill.
Last night on Fox News Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) dodged a question about how many uninsured the GOP plan would cover and instead railed at the Democrats for “trying to get at this business of universal coverage”:
PENCE: We believe you get at the coverage issue by lowering the cost of health insurance. … So Republicans by focusing on the cost of health insurance believe that we are going to take our country in a direction where we also deal with the tens of millions of people and employers that struggle with providing insurance.