Sen. Ron Johnson, genius
Senate Republicans think that if they make the Congressional Budget Office change the way they evaluate Trumpcare, they’ll get a better score. They want the CBO to change its process, and recalculate the number of people who are going to lose their health insurance under Trumpcare using January 2017 as their baseline, instead of March 2016. This was all the idea of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), genius, who says he did his own numbers. Which makes this analysis, by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities—people who actually know what the hell they’re talking about, even better. “[I]n fact, CBO’s estimated coverage loss from the Senate bill would be similar—and could easily be larger rather than smaller—under the January 2017 baseline,” CBPP writes. “What’s more, CBO consulted the House and Senate Budget Committees in deciding which baseline to use.”
- Starting from a lower estimate of individual market enrollment under current law would shrink coverage losses by 1-2 million at most. As noted, the 2017 baseline shows 5 million fewer people with individual market coverage in 2026 than the 2016 baseline does. But, overall, CBO estimates that 28 percent of people with individual market coverage would lose it under the Senate bill. So even if this were the only difference between the two baselines, CBO’s coverage loss estimate would likely change by at most 1 to 2 million people under the 2017 baseline (that is, 28 percent of 5 million). Claims that CBO’s estimates would change by the full 5 million implicitly assume that everyone with individual market coverage under current law would lose it under the Senate bill.
- Other changes to CBO’s baseline could push coverage losses up. For example, CBO’s more recent baseline projects that more people would be covered through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion under current law in 2026. Most of these people would likely lose coverage under the Senate bill, increasing Medicaid coverage loses compared to the 2016 baseline. In addition, CBO’s more recent baseline projects higher individual market premiums under current law than the 2016 baseline. That means that people losing premium tax credits, or facing cuts to their tax credits, under the Senate bill would have to pay even more to maintain their current coverage, which could increase coverage losses further.
Make your Republican senator feel the heat. Call their office EVERY DAY at (202) 224-3121 to demand that they say NO to ripping health care away from millions of Americans. No on Trumpcare. Then, tell us how it went.