The Congressional Budget Office is out with its cautious, well-caveated estimates of the effects of the House Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.
In this chart above, The Washington Post estimates the projected increase in the number of uninsured Americans the would result, compared with projections under the Affordable Care Act. It is clear that the effect would be to completely roll back the gains under the Affordable Care Act, to return our health care system to what it was before Obamacare was adopted.
Moreover, another analysis confirms that the biggest losers if this bill were to pass would be precisely the rural counties that voted most heavily for Trump.
These two charts together summarize how badly the new bill violates promises Trump made to assure that everyone would have insurance and that costs would go down. In fact, it is only the upper income people who would gain, because of tax cuts targeted at them, and the elimination of income tests for tax rebates.
Speaker Ryan has said that the estimated growth in the number of uninsured misses the point because the requirement that people have insurance is to be eliminated. People may just choose not to have insurance, he said. Indeed, the CBO acknowledges that such people will account for a majority of the newly uninsured in the first year.
But long-term cuts in Medicaid will make insurance unaffordable for many more people in future years. If you can’t afford insurance, the decision not to to have it is hardly a free choice.
Trump’s working class supporters, if they’re paying attention, should be worried.