House Republicans' new health care plan would mean fewer Americans would lose health insurance coverage compared to an earlier version, but little has changed.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which is the Republican plan to repeal and replace the current health care law. The bill passed the House earlier this month after an earlier version of the bill was a big failure.
Here's a breakdown of the CBO's report:
That's how many people under the age of 65 wouldn't have health insurance in 2026. It's 1 million fewer uninsured Americans than what the budget office estimated for an earlier version of the AHCA (the one that failed), but is still 23 million more than the 28 million people who wouldn't have insurance if the current health law signed by President Barack Obama remains in effect.
The new version of the AHCA would still save the government money, but not as much as the earlier version. The CBO says the plan would cut the federal deficit by $119 billion over the next decade. The health plan that failed would have saved about $150 billion.
Premiums will be lower, sometimes
As for how much people who buy health insurance on their own would have to pay in premiums, the CBO says over the years premiums would cost less on average, but that's partly because coverage wouldn't be as good.
However, the report was critical of how much premiums would cost people who have some pre-existing conditions, saying many wouldn't be able to afford comprehensive coverage, despite additional funding added to the bill to try to reduce premiums.
You can read the CBO's entire 41-page report here.
Reactions to the report
The CBO's report shows there's little change between the new plan and the earlier version of the AHCA that failed, which gives Democrats more ammunition to fight Republicans as they work to repeal and replace the current health care law.
And those who oppose the bill quickly responded to the report.
Minnesota's Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken continued to bash the AHCA, saying in a statement Wednesday the CBO report "makes clear what we already know: the Republican health care plan is cruel, irresponsible, and would have devastating consequences for millions of people in Minnesota and across the country."
He called on Republicans to abandon the legislation, saying it's just a "giant tax break for the wealthiest Americans masquerading as a health care bill." Instead, Franken said Republicans should "actually work to improve health care for all Americans."
U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, a Minnesota Democrat who voted against the AHCA, said in a statement he's "deeply troubled, but not surprised" by the CBO's report, criticizing the House for voting on the bill before the report was finished.
"Members of Congress voted on this bill without knowing its costs. It’s no wonder that the bill has been stuck in purgatory, passed by the House but refused by the Senate. Process matters and this legislation has defied the democratic process," Nolan added.
So what's next?
Since the House has passed the AHCA, now it's the Senate's turn.
Republican senators have already said they'll be making "substantial changes" to the House's health care plan, the New York Times says, adding they'll likely use the CBO's report to come up with their own version of the bill.
The Associated Press reports Republican senators are considering changes to Medicaid cuts and tax credits, among other policies.