As readers know, I am no fan of the current U.S. healthcare system.
The U.S. healthcare system, as it is currently configured, only really works for those who make a profit—selling health insurance, pharmaceuticals, and in-patient and acute-care services in hospitals—and those who have the wherewithal to finance their own healthcare.
But Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, will move us even further from the goal of providing universal, affordable, high-quality healthcare for the American people.
According to a new study by the Congressional Budget Office (pdf), both the number of people who do not have health insurance and the premiums paid by people who do purchase individual health insurance will likely rise in dramatic fashion:
The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill. Later, after the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.
Premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by 20 percent to 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in the first new plan year following enactment. The increase would reach about 50 percent in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and the marketplace subsidies, and premiums would about double by 2026.
Oh, and not to be overlooked, repealing the Affordable Care Act would provide an immediate windfall tax cut to the highest-income Americans while raising taxes significantly on about 7 million low- and moderate-income families.