Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney attacked to the Congressional Budget Office’s report analyzing the effects of the American Health Care Act.
The report estimated that 14 million more people would be uninsured in 2018 under the AHCA compared to the current Affordable Care Act – and that number could increase to 24 million by 2026.
“We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out,” Price said. “We believe that our plan will cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want for the coverage that they want for themselves and their family not that the government forces them to buy.”
Price said it would be “virtually impossible” for 14 million to lose their coverage next year, because that is higher than the number of people enrolled on the ACA’s individual exchanges.
“You just look at the numbers, there are 8, 9 million people on the exchange currently. I’m not sure how they’re going to get to 14 million,” Price said, adding its “just not believe able.”
As of the open enrollment period that ended in January, 9.2 million were signed up through the federal exchange on Healthcare.gov, with more on the state-based exchanges. The CBO report, additionally, also estimated that number based on the number of people that would not sign up for employer coverage without the threat of the tax penalty from the ACA’s individual mandate.
Mulvaney did tout the CBO’s analysis of the legislation’s effect on healthcare premiums. The report estimated that while premiums on the individual exchanges will increase over the next two years, they will subsequently decrease since the burden of increased costs will fall on older Americans, adjusting the risk pool to be cheaper for insurers.