- HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, released a statement that decried several findings from the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
The CBO estimates that over 14 million Americans will lose health insurance by the year 2018, and that number will grow between 21 and 24 million by 2026. Price issued his statement shortly after the score was available for public access.
“The CBO report’s coverage numbers defy logic. They project that zeroing out the individual mandate – allowing Americans to choose whether to have insurance – will result in 14 million Americans opting out of coverage in one year. For there to be the reductions in coverage they project in just the first year, they assume five million Americans on Medicaid will drop off of health insurance for which they pay very little, and another nine million will stop participating in the individual and employer markets. These types of assumptions do not translate to the real world, and they do not accurately estimate the effects of this bill."
“The CBO report also does not incorporate two-thirds of the healthcare reform plan President Trump has called for – specifically the regulatory relief HHS can provide and the additional legislative reforms Congress is and will be pursuing. Our three-pronged approach will free patients to purchase coverage that works best for them at a price they can afford. Doctors and patients understand that, especially under current law, having coverage is not the same thing as having access to the care one wants or needs. Our approach will provide Americans with relief from the collapsing healthcare law, which never delivered on the benefits projected by the Congressional Budget Office in the first place.”
Price’s statement contrasts with views expressed by a number of healthcare organizations who voiced concerns over the AHCA. The American Medical Association and American Hospital Association are among the professional societies who have come out strongly against the potential impacts of the new healthcare plan.