The Congressional Budget Office released on Wednesday its much-anticipated estimate of the effects of the American Health Care Act, as passed by the House of Representatives. Compared to current health law, the act would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026, the office predicts. An additional 23 million Americans would either go uninsured or purchase inadequate insurance.
For people who get their health plans from the Obamacare marketplaces, under the AHCA, the CBO finds their premiums would rise until 2020, after which premiums would fall. However, those who live in states that decided to stop covering Obamacare's "10 essential health benefits"—which now mandate that health insurance must cover certain services, such as prenatal and mental-health care—could start seeing their out-of-pocket costs go up by thousands of dollars.
The CBO is an independent agency that estimates the effects of bills considered by Congress.
The CBO published an analysis of the effects of the previous version of the AHCA in March, but after a revised version of the bill was re-introduced in late April, the CBO had to prepare a new analysis. Compared to the prior version, the AHCA now reduces the federal deficit less (the old AHCA was expected to reduce the deficit by $337 billion) and leaves slightly fewer people uninsured (the old act was expected to leave an additional 24 million off).
The AHCA is now with the Senate, which will likely make further changes.