UPDATED POST: “What’s the Deal With ‘Pre-Existing Conditions'”

Hello All, a brief-er post for you –

Due to the arrival of the newly touted bill through the house to replace the Affordable Care Act, called the American Health Care Act, a quick update should be added as an addendum to the previous post.

Expected uninsured increases 2017 – 2026

Last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives put forth a new bill (HR 277) designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”). The new bill’s release was likely in response to the public’s disapproval of Congress’s attempts to dismantle the current health care law and its laudable elements without a formal replacement.

The bill’s objectives are to save the Federal Government money (reduce the deficit) and to provide cheaper health care for Americans. As of now, the bill has been introduced and passed through an initial committee within the House. The bill still needs to be passed by both houses of Congress and then signed by the President before it can become law and replace the ACA.

Speaker Ryan introducing HR 277

On Monday 3/13, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the score-keeper for legislation, released its analysis of how the new bill would affect health care costs, the Federal Budget, and the numbers of insured Americans. In its analysis, the CBO found that the American Health Care Act would:

  • The bill would save the Federal government $337 Billion (from 2017 – 2026)
  • The bill would eliminate certain taxes that affect high income earners such as the surtax on high income earners investment income, the Hospital Insurance payroll tax for high earners, and delaying an excise tax for high earner’s plans.
  • By 2020, 48 million Americans would be uninsured in health care, with that number rising to 52 million people by 2026 (roughly, 19 % of the population – under current law, about 10 % of the population is uninsured, which is projected to remain the same through 2026). This is an increase of uninsured of 24 million Americans.
    • the biggest reasons for the decrease in coverage would be the decrease in Medicaid spending and loss of certain health care subsidies
  • The cost of non-group health care plans would on average increase, but with a specific Patient Stability fund, rates would level out by 2020.
  • By 2026, premiums are expected to be 20 – 25 % lower for younger, healthier people, but about 20 – 25 % higher for older folks (age 64+)

So to sum up, the bill would save the Federal government money, but would increase the number of uninsured and leave higher health care costs for older and sicker folks while decreasing taxes (from the ACA) for wealthier people.

Sources and Further Reads:

CBO Analysis: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3516452/CBO-Health-Care-Cost-Estimates.pdf

American Health Care Act Bill HR 277 text 



About eprileson

I am a historian and writer who wants to bring to light current events through a historical perspective. It is difficult to understand today's current events without having a grasp of what has occurred before. This is a running thread to help keep people informed about the present and remind everyone to not forget their past. Enjoy and please comment!
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