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'Trumpcare' Could Leave 24 Million Taxpayers Uninsured

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington Tuesday, March 14, 2017

24 million people would no longer have subsidized health insurance by 2020 if the American Health Care Act is enacted in its current form, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Produced in cooperation with the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the CBO's new report estimates that by 2026 the enactment of AHCA would reduce federal deficits by USD337bn over the 2017-2026 period. 14 million more people would be without health insurance by 2018, the report said, and this number would rise to 21 million by 2020 and to 24 million by 2026.

The AHCA would bring about government cost savings of USD1.2 trillion and cut revenues by about USD900bn.

The largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the elimination of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) subsidies for nongroup health insurance, the report said. It added that the largest costs would come from repealing many of the changes the ACA made to the Internal Revenue Code–including an increase in the Hospital Insurance payroll tax rate for high-income taxpayers, a surtax on those taxpayers' net investment income, and annual fees imposed on health insurers–and from the establishment of a new tax credit for health insurance.

The report went on to discuss the impact of the reforms on health insurance premiums. It said in its conclusion that: "Although average premiums would increase prior to 2020 and decrease starting in 2020, CBO and JCT estimate that changes in premiums relative to those under current law would differ significantly for people of different ages because of a change in age-rating rules. Under the legislation, insurers would be allowed to generally charge five times more for older enrollees than younger ones rather than three times more as under current law, substantially reducing premiums for young adults and substantially raising premiums for older people."

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