A previous CBO score of the Senate’s repeal-and-replace bill estimated that 22 million people would lose insurance over the next decade.
The CBO hasn’t released a score on the most recent revision, which includes a controversial amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
The Senate will vote next week on a motion to proceed, though it’s not clear which bill Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to move to — a straight repeal or the repeal-and-replace legislation that seemed dead just days ago.
Both the House and Senate passed the “repeal-only” bill in 2015 that was vetoed by President Obama. Among other provisions, the “repeal only” bill would eliminate: ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates, the Medicaid expansion, and subsidies for low-income individuals.
It would retain the requirements that protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination and would continue to require insurers to offer specific benefits.
According to the CBO “eliminating the penalty associated with the individual mandate and the subsidies for insurance while retaining the market regulations would destabilize the nongroup market, and the effect would worsen over time.”
Republicans have argued that they need to repeal and replace ObamaCare to “rescue” the growing number of people who live in counties with no insurers on the healthcare exchanges. But according to the CBO, repeal-only would make the problem worse.
The repeal-only bill would cause insurers to begin dropping out of the marketplace as soon as next year, the CBO said. It would also leave about half of the nation’s population without any ObamaCare insurers by 2020, a figure that would increase to about three-quarters of the population by 2026.