Dr. Bucshon’s Statement on AHCA CBO Report
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Eighth District Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. released the following statement regarding the Congressional Budget Office’s “score” of the American Health Care Act:
“The CBO confirmed that the reforms in the American Health Care Act will lower patients’ premiums, repair the insurance markets to increase choice, significantly reduce the deficit, provide tax relief to families, and implement real, substantial entitlement reform,” said Bucshon. “It’s never been our goal to pass a massive, 2,000-page bill. And unlike the ‘Washington-knows-best’ approach of Obamacare, our legislation does not force the American people to purchase bad insurance at a price they can’t afford. In fact, the American Health Care Act is the first of a three-step process, so we expected an incomplete report from the CBO today. Our comprehensive approach – the American Health Care Act, actions from the Trump Administration, and additional legislation in Congress – will undoubtedly provide access to quality, affordable health care for every American.”
According to the CBO, the projected increase in the number of uninsured is primarily attributed the repeal of Obamacare’s mandates:
“Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of these people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties…” (CBO; 3/13/2017)
As described by House Speaker Paul Ryan here, the legislation considered by the CBO is only one of three phases in the step-by-step process to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Phase 1: The American Health Care Act, which takes full advantage of the budget reconciliation process, which is a procedural move that requires only 51 votes in the Senate and is subject to specific rules and restrictions.
Phase 2: Administration actions, notably by HHS Secretary Price, to stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and lower costs. The Secretary is granted discretion in nearly 1,400 instances under current law.
Phase 3: Additional legislative policies, such as allowing individuals to purchase coverage across state lines, that by Senate rules cannot be included in a reconciliation bill.
Because the CBO only takes into account phase one, the predictions released today cannot possibly provide a full and complete picture.
Key Points: AHCA Lowers Premiums, Increases Choices (courtesy the Speaker’s office):
A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and increase access to quality, affordable care.
The CBO’s estimate shows that the legislation advances the core goals of our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare:
- Lowers premiums by 10 percent.
- Reduces the federal deficit by $337 billion.
- Makes major entitlement reform, capping Medicaid spending for the first time, saving taxpayers $880 billion.
- Increases choices for consumers, creating a vibrant market where people will have more freedom and flexibility to get the plan they want.
- Lowers taxes by $883 billion, providing massive tax relief for middle-income Americans and small business owners.
This report does not take into account additional steps Congress and the Trump administration are taking that will further lower costs and increase choices for families.
- As an example, HHS Secretary Tom Price wrote a letter to governors today offering additional flexibility to improve market stabilization and affordable choices.
We understand concerns about making sure people have access to coverage.
- This report finds that most of the drop in coverage is attributed to repeal of the individual mandate, because people are no longer forced to purchase government-mandated coverage.
- Under our plan, there will be a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.
- People who do not receive coverage through work or a government program will be provided with a tax credit to help purchase the plan of their choice.
- We are committed to making sure that every American has access to quality, affordable coverage.
Obamacare has proven that government-mandated coverage does not equal access to care, and now the law is collapsing.
- Our plan repeals Obamacare’s flawed subsidies, which left millions of low- and middle-income Americans behind.
- Instead of being forced to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage, people will be able to buy a plan they want and can afford. More choices mean lower premiums, as this report shows.
Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. is a physician and Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving his third term representing Indiana's 8th Congressional district. The 8th District of Indiana includes all or parts of Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warrick counties.