As many as 24 million Americans risk losing health coverage over the next decade under the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported.
By 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured if Congress enacts the healthcare proposal, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law, according to the report. President Donald Trump, who supports the legislation, vowed that the plan would provide “insurance for everybody”.
The congressional analysts estimate that the Republican healthcare proposal could reduce the federal budget by $337bn over 10 years, with largest savings would come from cuts to the federal Medicaid program and “Obamacare” tax credits for people who buy insurance individually.
The bill, called the American Health Care Act, faces intensifying opposition from conservatives, Democrats, consumer interest groups and nearly every sector of the US healthcare industry.
The ACHA seeks to radically transform and cut Medicaid, one of America’s largest social safety nets; end requirements for Americans to purchase healthcare; allow insurance companies to charge the old five times more than the young; expand tax-free health savings accounts; cut taxes that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy; and shrink subsidies that benefit the middle class.
At the same time, it allows insurance companies to levy a 30% surcharge to anyone who does not have insurance for more than two months, meant to incentivize people to keep insurance.