CBO: Republican repeal plan is literally worse than no plan at all


Donald Trump and the Republicans are pushing for a vote on their extremely unpopular plan to repeal Obamacare, despite a CBO report showing that 24 million people will lose health care coverage under it. It turns out that another CBO report shows repealing Obamacare without enacting the GOP plan would actually result in 1 million fewer people losing health care.

Donald Trump and the Republicans have engaged in a progressively more disastrous campaign to try to sell their plan to repeal Obamacare, and despite some desperate 11th-hour revisions, will likely fail to pass it through the House of Representatives on Thursday.

Part of that effort has involved rather absurd attempts to spin their way out of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) score of their plan, which showed that 24 million people would lose care under the plan by 2026. Trump was even forced to disown his own budget office when their analysis showed that 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade under their plan.

And the news just gets worse for the Republicans: According to The New York Times, the plan would end up throwing 1 million more people off insurance than if they repealed Obamacare without any replacement:

(O)ne piece of context has gone little noticed: The Republican bill would actually result in more people being uninsured than if Obamacare were simply repealed. Getting rid of the major coverage provisions and regulations of Obamacare would cost 23 million Americans their health insurance, according to another recent C.B.O. report. In other words, 1 million more Americans would have health insurance with a clean repeal than with the Republican replacement plan, according to C.B.O. estimates.


The Times is referencing a January CBO analysis, which Shareblue reported at the time, showing that a House bill simply repealing Obamacare would result in 36 million people losing their health care by 2026, but the repeal bill they were analyzing retained several Obamacare provisions that the current plan does not. The CBO's January report went on to say:

The number of people without health insurance would be smaller if, in addition to the changes in H.R. 3762, the insurance market reforms mentioned above were also repealed. In that case, the increase in the number of uninsured people would be about 21 million in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies; that figure would rise to about 23 million in 2026.

Repealing Obamacare will be a disaster for tens of millions of Americans no matter how you count it. But the CBO's analyses show that the Republicans' planned "fix" will be even worse than no fix at all, which should be a comfort when the bill likely fails to pass this week.