White House analysis finds Trumpcare is even worse than the CBO estimated

Trump has a lot of explaining to do.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer holds up a Trump Administration document to “repeal and replace Obamacare”. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
White House press secretary Sean Spicer holds up a Trump Administration document to “repeal and replace Obamacare”. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

An internal White House analysis concluded that House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill, called the American Health Care Act, will cause up to 26 million people to lose their insurance coverage over the next decade, according to a copy of the analysis obtained by Politico.

That’s even more dire than the estimate the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released on Monday afternoon. The CBO projected that up to 24 million people could lose their insurance over the next decade.

Health and Human Services Department Secretary Tom Price told reporters on Monday that the Trump administration “strenuously disagrees” with the CBO’s estimate, adding, “It’s just not believable.”

But the fact that the White House’s own analysis found even worse insurance losses under Trumpcare will perhaps make it more difficult for administration officials to refute the CBO’s findings.

The White House analysis found that coverage losses would include “17 million for Medicaid, six million in the individual market and three million in employer-based plans,” according to Politico. The analysis also concluded that a total of 54 million people would be uninsured by 2026, roughly twice as many people currently uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

A Trump administration official said that the White House is considering taking away health insurance from people earlier, including “phasing out the Medicaid expansion quicker, from the current Dec. 31, 2019 date to the beginning of 2018, and moving changes supposed to occur in the insurance market from 2020 to 2018,” according to a separate Politico article. President Trump hopes these changes will appeal to House conservatives.

Now that the CBO estimates have been made public, some Republicans are hesitant to support Trumpcare in its current form.

“President Trump said that he wants as many people covered as under Obamacare,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a physician who previously offered a replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act, said. “He said that health care should be affordable. If there’s 14 million people losing insurance, of course it’s concerning. I try to avoid hyperbole and adjectives, but it’s concerning.”

If the Trump administration continues to push the AHCA, the president will break his campaign promise to deliver an Obamacare replacement plan that provides insurance coverage to more people, reduces premiums and costs, and doesn’t cause anyone to lose their current coverage.

A Kaiser Family Foundation report found that more than 11 million Americans have been able to get health care coverage through Medicaid expansion thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Update: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed on Tuesday morning that the Politico report was “totally misleading.”