KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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‘Millions’ Of Americans Would Lose Insurance Under GOP Bill, CBO Projects In Partial Analysis

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office didn't have enough time to do a full projection and its score was estimated from an earlier version of the Graham-Cassidy bill. But the agency says “the direction of the effect is clear."

Reuters: Health Plan Would Cut U.S. Deficit, But Leave Millions Without Insurance: CBO
An earlier version of a healthcare bill Republican leaders are trying to push through the U.S. Senate would save at least $133 billion over 10 years, Congress' nonpartisan budget agency said on Monday, suggesting it meets requirements to clear the chamber on a simple majority vote. But the U.S. Congressional Budget Office did not assess the most recent version of the Graham-Cassidy bill, leaving it unclear whether it also complies with Senate rules expiring on Sept. 30 that permit approval by a simple majority. (Beech, 9/25)

The Washington Post: CBO Predicts ‘Millions’ Would Lose Coverage Under The Revised Senate Health Bill
The latest Senate Republican plan to tilt federal health-care law in a conservative direction would cause “millions” of Americans to lose insurance by 2026, while lessening the federal deficit by at least $133 billion, according to much-anticipated estimates by Congress’s nonpartisan budget scorekeepers. The partial analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, issued late Monday afternoon, said that the precise increase in people without health coverage “could vary widely,” because the Cassidy-Graham legislation would give each state great latitude to design its own health-care policies. (Goldstein, 9/25)

Politico: Graham-Cassidy Repeal Plan Would Leave 'Millions More' Uninsured
The nonpartisan scorekeeping agency said the legislation's effect on the uninsured rate could vary widely, depending on how states run their health care systems under the plan, which shifts federal Obamacare payments to a system of block grants to states. The plan would hit savings targets required under the expedited rules GOP leaders are using to try to pass repeal with a simple majority. (Bettelheim, 9/25)

The Hill: CBO Finds 'Millions' Will Lose Coverage From Repeal Bill 
CBO said the reduction in coverage would be felt in three areas: in Medicaid, because the bill repeals ObamaCare's expansion of Medicaid; in private coverage, because the bill repeals subsidies that help people afford it; and because the mandate to have coverage would be repealed. (Sullivan, 9/25)

Modern Healthcare: Revised GOP Repeal Bill Has Everyone Racing To Figure Out Its Impact
There also was confusion about the bill's amended provisions for letting states relax the ACA's insurance market rules that protect people with pre-existing conditions. Those rules require health plans in the individual market to accept all customers regardless of health status; provide essential benefits; charge everyone the same premium except for a permitted 3-to-1 variance based on age; and set no annual or lifetime caps on benefits. There is general agreement that under the revised Graham-Cassidy bill, states could let insurers discriminate against sicker people. (Meyer, 9/25)

Other organizations also analyze the effects the measure would have —

Health News Florida: Obamacare Replacement Would Cost Florida $9.7B Over 6 Years
A proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would cost Florida $9.7 billion in federal funding over six years, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than $7.5 billion of that funding loss would come from a change in the way money is distributed to cover individual health insurance plans under the Graham-Cassidy legislation, named for Republican Senators Lindsay Graham, of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana. (Ochoa, 9/26)

The Hill: S&P: Graham-Cassidy Bill Would Cost 580K Jobs 
The latest ObamaCare repeal bill would hurt the economy and reduce coverage levels, according to a new report released Monday. The S&P Global Ratings report found that the bill, sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.), would reduce coverage levels among those making between 133 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line, or between $16,040 and $48,240 for an individual. (Hellmann, 9/25)

Arizona Republic: Arizona May Face Serious Job Losses Under 'Obamacare' Replacement Bill
Arizona would see Great Recession-type job losses next decade under a Senate Republican health-care proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, a new report says. The report released Monday predicted Arizona would lose more than 21,000 jobs and nearly $1.9 billion in economic output in 2020, the first year that the Medicaid expansion's health financing would be converted to block grants under an 'Obamacare' replacement bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La. (Alltucker, 9/25)

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