CBO on GOP Obamacare repeal: 22m uninsured, $13k deductible, premiums soar for older

The Congressional Budget Office released yet another analysis of yet another Republican Obamacare repeal plan, and this time the numbers are still awful.

According to CBO, 22 million fewer Americans will have insurance under the Senate Republican plan (the plan passed by the House GOP will lead to 23 million uninsured), and while premiums will drop over ten years for younger Americans, for older Americans (age 50 and up) they’re likely to soar. And finally, deductibles for the benchmark plan will soar to $13,000!

Most troubling, for me, CBO noted that premiums may soar for older Americans. That’s because under Obamacare, premiums for older Americans can only be three times as much as those charged younger Americans. Under the Republican plan, premiums for people age 50 and up can be five times more than those for younger Americans. That’s a potential 66% increase in premiums right there.

Last night, I reported on the new CBO numbers for the simple repeal plan that the GOP was considering yesterday. Those numbers were god-awful, with 32 million uninsured and premiums doubling.

This latest CBO “score,” as we call it, is for earlier Senate plan they were considering, minus the Cruz Amendment (which would have let insurers have Obamacare-compliant and non-Obamacare compliant plans, thus leading healthy people to buy the cheaper (and much worse) non-Obamacare plans, and making the Obamacare cares that much more expensive for anyone with a pre-existing condition).

Here is what the latest CBO analysis had to say about how badly the GOP bill treats older Americans (those age 50-64 — at 65 you get Medicare):

The effects on premiums would vary in different areas of the country. Also, even though average premiums for benchmark plans would decline, some people enrolled in nongroup insurance would experience substantial increases in the net premiums that they paid for insurance. For example, under this legislation, 64-year-olds could be charged five times as much as 21-year-olds, CBO and JCT expect, compared with three times as much under current law—resulting in higher premiums for most older people….

For older people not eligible for premium tax credits, net premiums (after taking into account the tax savings from paying premiums from a health savings account) could be more than five times larger than those for younger people in many states, rather than only three times larger under current law. Because of such differences, CBO and JCT estimate that, under this legislation, a larger share of enrollees in the nongroup market would be younger people and a smaller share would be older people than would be the case under current law.

CBO also notes that deductibles will soar under the GOP plan:

Under this legislation, for a single policyholder purchasing an illustrative benchmark plan (with an actuarial value of 58 percent) in 2026, the deductible for medical and drug expenses combined would be roughly $13,000, the agencies estimate.

This compares to a $5,000 deductible under a benchmark plan under current law.

A $13,000 annual deductible before your benefits even kick in? Dear lord!

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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