HOT MIC: Supreme Court Rules on Trump Travel Ban, Religious Liberty
A Senate bill drafted by Republicans to replace Obamacare would leave 22 million people without insurance by 2026 compared to current law, a study by a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says. The plan would also reduce the U.S. budget deficit by $321 billion over the next 10 years. Senate Republicans are several votes short to pass their bill. A similar proposal by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would result in 23 million fewer Americans having health insurance 10 years from now compared to Obamacare. The House bill would lower the deficit by $119 billion, the CBO had estimated.
So how'd they do back when Obamacare was passed (with zero GOP votes)?
We now know that many of CBO’s projections of important aspects of the ACA have significantly differed from actual outcomes. In this piece, I highlight CBO’s key past errors in projecting effects of the ACA. They can largely be grouped into two categories. First, CBO projected that the exchanges would be stable by now with more than twice as many enrollees as they currently have, rather than suffering from severe adverse selection in most states as they now are. Second, CBO projected that the ACA Medicaid expansion would be much smaller and less expensive than it has turned out to be.
These errors were caused by two primary mistakes in CBO’s model and assumptions. First, CBO significantly overestimated the degree to which the individual mandate would induce relatively healthy people with middle class income to buy coverage in the exchanges. Second, CBO failed to anticipate that states would respond to the federal government’s elevated reimbursement rate for the Medicaid expansion by maximizing enrollment and paying insurance companies extremely high payment rates for this population. CBO has not yet explained if or how it has corrected its models for these past mistakes, but it should do so if it wants to improve confidence in its estimates of repeal and replace legislation.
Whatever happens -- and I hope the bill loses, for what it's worth -- I can say with a degree of high confidence that these numbers are nonsense. As Yogi Berra, or somebody, once said: predictions are tough, especially about the future.