(NBC News) The Congressional Budget Office numbers on the American Health Care Act are out. The good news: They think this plan shaves billions off the national deficit. The bad news: Millions could lose their health care.
The CBO predicts the Republican health plan will reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over a decade by cutting Medicaid and subsidies that Americans use to buy insurance.
It also estimates that by getting rid of the mandate to buy insurance, another 14 million people would lose health coverage next year.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is defending that point.
“Covereage is not the end. People don’t get better with coverage – they get better with care,” he says. “If you have coverage that doesn’t allow you to go to the doctor, what good is it in the first place?”
The Trump administration says the CBO was wrong about Obamacare costs and doesn’t consider new regulations and more laws still in the works.
“They didn’t look at all the regulations that we believe ought to go away,” says Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. “They didn’t look at purchase across state lines or medical malpractice reform.”
The CBO believes premiums would initially go up 15 percent, then drop 10 percent in 2020.
Democrats say tax breaks would only benefit the rich, and skeptical Republicans want to go back to the drawing board.
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