Senate Health Bill Raises Uninsured by 22 Million in 2026 Compared to ACA, the CBO Says -- 3rd Update

By Stephanie Armour and Kristina Peterson Features Dow Jones Newswires

The Senate Republican health overhaul bill would result in 22 million more people uninsured in 2026 and cut the federal deficit by $321 billion in the next decade compared with the Affordable Care Act, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

Continue Reading Below

The estimate comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is engaged in last-minute negotiations with more than a half-dozen GOP lawmakers who are wavering in support of the bill. The legislation is slated to be voted on Thursday and can lose no more than two Republican senators to pass.

In comparison, a bill that passed the House would have 23 million more people uninsured relative to the ACA.

Under the Senate bill, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured by 2026 relative to the ACA, according to the analysis by CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation. That's primarily because of sizable cuts to the Medicaid program and substantially smaller subsidies to help low-income people purchase insurance.The number of Medicaid enrollees under 65 would fall by about 16% by 2026 relative to current law (or 15 million fewer people).

Premiums also would be higher than the ACA in the individual market before 2020 and lower after that relative to the ACA, according to the analysis. That drop would stem in part from federal funds to reduce premiums and in part from a smaller number of benefits being covered by health plans.

The legislation would reduce the cumulative federal deficit by $321 billion between 2017 through 2026. That is more than the House version, which the CBO estimated would curb the deficit by $119 billion in just over a decade.

Continue Reading Below

Write to Stephanie Armour at stephanie.armour@wsj.com and Kristina Peterson at kristina.peterson@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 26, 2017 18:56 ET (22:56 GMT)