New CBO Score Shows Health Care Bill Would Devastate Access to Coverage for Montanans

Hundreds of thousands in Montana would lose coverage, while the wealthy and drug and insurance industries would receive $664 billion in tax cuts.

PRESS STATEMENT

 

Yesterday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its official analysis of the impact of the House-passed health care bill. The CBO analysis shows that the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) would result in 23 million Americans losing health insurance and slashes $834 billion in Medicaid funding to the states by 2026.

“This new analysis reinforces what we already know – that the House GOP health plan will result in millions of Americans losing access to affordable coverage and shifting billions of dollars in Medicaid costs to states,” says Sarah Howell, executive director of Montana Women Vote. “Hundreds of thousands of Montanans face losing health insurance, while the House plan provides massive tax breaks for the super wealthy in this country. Montanans deserve better.”  

In an unprecedented move, the House passed the American Health Care Act earlier this month before it received an updated analysis from its official, bi-partisan scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office.

“The devastating cuts to Medicaid in AHCA are made even worse through the Trump budget, which cuts an additional $600 billion in Medicaid,” said Heather O’Loughlin, co-director of the Montana Budget and Policy Center. “States like Montana will face impossible decisions as it faces budget pressures, and thousands of low-income Montanans, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, face the real risk of losing health coverage.”

“If the American Health Care Act is passed into law my job, my clients’ lives, and my family’s future are all at risk,” explains Anna Volkerz, a professional long-term caregiver. “I’ve never seen my clients so fearful, and I am deeply worried about providing for my family if my job is eliminated by the huge cuts to Medicaid.”

“Montana is proud of the bipartisan HELP Act that expanded access to Medicaid for over 77,000 Montanans,” said Kim Abbott, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network. “The AHCA threatens to pull the rug out from under every Montanan who has enrolled by ending a program that is working well, improving people’s health, and strengthening access in Montana’s rural communities. The AHCA is incredibly irresponsible and it will have a devastating impact on our state.”  

Key Points: According to the CBO, the official, non-partisan scorekeeper, the AHCA will:

  • Strip coverage from 23 million Americansby drastically cutting tax credits to buy coverage and by making enormous cuts in state funding for Medicaid.
  • Slash Medicaid by $834 billion in two ways– taking away Medicaid expansion coverage from millions of people and radically restructuring the federal funding for the basic Medicaid program to starve it over the years, forcing eligibility and benefit cuts.
  • Risk access to coverage for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. In states that eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, “less healthy people would face extremely high premiums”and “it would become more difficult for less healthy people (including people with pre-existing medical conditions) in those states to purchase insurance because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly.”
  • Hike premiums as you get older.In states that keep insurance protections, the bill’s huge cuts in tax credits to pay for coverage will result in hikes in premiums for people over 50 and for working families with moderate incomes. In every state, premiums will be higher as you age.
  • Give $664 billion in tax breaks, mostly to wealthy Americans and drug andinsurance corporations. It even has a special tax break for insurance company CEOs.
  • Push people into high-deductible insurance plansand end the ACA program that limits out- of-pocket costs to many working families.

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