by Max Brantley
A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the House this month would increase the projected number of people without health insurance by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. That 10-year figure is slightly less than originally estimated.A poor, unhealthy state like Arkansas would naturally feel disproportionate pain. And if Gov. Asa Hutchinsson succeeds in trimming rolls with work requirements, we will be worse off still, after being among the best in providing health coverage (which means better health) to more people.
It would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over a decade, less than the $150 billion in savings projected in late March for an earlier version of the bill. And in states that seek waivers from rules mandating essential health coverage, the new law could make insurance economically out of reach for some sick consumers.
“Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums,” the budget office concluded.
“We’re seeing the effects of just how irresponsible our Republican representatives have been,” Democratic Party Chairman Michael John Gray said. “The results of this bill would be devastating. I want to hear Representative Hill, Representative Crawford, Representative Westerman, or Representative Womack explain to the people of Arkansas why they voted to strip tens of millions of Americans of their health insurance and lifesaving care. I don’t think they can; it’s indefensible.”PS: Tne analysis is pouring in. If you are a healthy 21-year-old male, this bill is sweet. If you are a woman, too bad, costs going up, way up.
The CBO’s findings released Wednesday showed that by 2026, 51 million Americans under the age of 65 will not have health insurance if the AHCA is made law.
“The CBO report underscores how misguided it was for lawmakers to rush to pass this legislation without letting Americans know what was in the bill. These are people’s lives we’re talking about,” said Michael John Gray. “And while they’re busy playing politics, toeing the line for President Trump, Arkansans are wondering how they’re going to pay for their sons’ and daughters’ medical bills. It makes me sick to my stomach. It is clear our Republican Congressmen do not care about the best interest of Arkansas families or the Arkansas economy.”