U.S. Capitol

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated scoring of the House version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The updated information reinforces the deep concerns we have related to losing coverage for the most vulnerable patients in our communities. A further review of the CBO scoring reveals:

  • An estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be lack proper insurance by 2026, 23 million more than under current law.
  • In 2018, 14 million fewer people would have coverage.
  • CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that the legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over the 2017-2026 period. The largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and replacement of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) subsidies for non-group health insurance with new tax credits.
  • CBO and JCT estimate the bill would cut $834 million from the Medicaid program; and
  • The MacArthur amendment to the AHCA would allow states to waive certain regulatory requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If a state adopts a waiver, the consumer would be able to purchase insurance at a lower price but with less coverage. Those with pre-existing conditions could see their premiums rise by as much as 800%, while the young would see their premiums greatly reduced. Governor Daugaard has stated that he would consider allowing South Dakota to opt out of the ACA’s pre-existing conditions rules if the bill becomes law.

SDAHO joins with the American Hospital Association (AHA), LeadingAge and a number of other national organizations in the belief that reform must be guided by ensuring that millions of people across the country maintain their coverage. We continue to urge Sen. Thune and Sen. Mike Rounds to work to modify the House bill to ensure coverage for older Americans, children, veterans, the disabled, those suffering from substance abuse or behavioral health problems and those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer and chronic illnesses.