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Monday, March 13, 2017

There's NO Way This Is Correct

Here are a few facts that you need to keep in mind.

1.  In the enrollment period that just ended, almost 12 million Americans signed up for health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

2.  The new Republican health bill does not change access to Medicaid next year.  In fact, everyone on Medicaid is grandfathered for coverage.  That means no one on Medicaid now will lose coverage, and the requirements to get covered won't change for at least the next three years.

3.  The so-called employer's mandate has never yet been enforced.  That means that there is not even one company in the USA that has been actually forced by the government to provide health insurance to its employees.

4.  Nothing in the Republican bill in any way reduces coverage for people on Medicare.

These four facts mean that the only people who might lose coverage under the Republican healthcare bill next year are some of the 12 million or so people who bought coverage on the exchanges.  Nevertheless, the Congressional Budget Office just issued a report saying that 14 million people would lose insurance next year if the GOP bill passes.  That cannot be.  Most of the people with individual coverage would still buy insurance.  There just aren't enough people who could conceivably lose insurance coverage to get to the number put forth by the CBO.

The CBO, however, also estimates that the premium for insurance will decline by 10% next year under the GOP plan and that the federal deficit will be about a third of a trillion dollars lower under that plan.  And remember, this CBO analysis only covers the first part of the GOP plan.  We still have parts 2 and 3 which will go into effect and further lower premium costs.

Finally, there's one more important question to ask about the CBO analysis.  If someone who now has insurance decides that he or she no longer wants to buy it, has that person "lost" coverage?  I don't think so.  Once the government no longer makes it a legal requirement to buy insurance, people will have the right, once again, to choose. 

If you put all this together, there is just no way that the CBO analysis can be correct.

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