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    CBO Releases Analysis of Senate Healthcare Reform Bill

    June 28, 2017

    On June 22, 2017, United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) unveiled the Senate Republican leadership health care reform bill – the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017. While the Senate bill is slightly more moderate than its House counterpart, the Senate version would still allow states and insurance companies to opt out of many of the patient protections mandated under the Affordable Care Act. 

    On June 26, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimate of the spending and coverage impact of the BCRA. Among other things, CBO found that: the number of uninsured would increase by 22 million in 2026 relative to current law, for a total of 49 million; about 15 million more people would be uninsured in 2018, primarily due to elimination of the individual mandate; and that average premiums would increase in the non-group market prior to 2020 compared to current law. After that, premiums are projected to be relatively lower, largely due to the reduced actuarial value of the benchmark plans, which will cover a smaller share of health care services than under current law. CBO estimates that fewer low-income people will purchase plans starting in 2020, despite being eligible for premium tax credits, due to higher deductibles and copayments.

    Following the release of the CBO report, SCAI followed up with all 100 Senate offices to remind Senators of SCAI’s Healthcare Reform Principles, which SCAI believes should be reflected in any final health care reform package to ensure patient access to quality and affordable care.

    To access the full CBO report, click here: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849