The CBO Score For An Obamacare Repeal Is... Abysmal
On Monday evening, two Republican senators announced that they would not be supporting the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act, effectively ending Republican prospects of passing an Obamacare replacement bill for now. However, Senate Republicans have now indicated that they will seek to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare with a delayed replacement plan — the effects of which would be devastating. Indeed, the CBO score for an Obamacare repeal without immediate replacement indicates that the move could cause 32 million Americans to lose health insurance.
Following the announcement by Republican Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) that they would not support the revised BCRA, effectively ending its prospects for passage, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would now seek to vote to repeal Obamacare without an immediate replacement.
In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period.
If an Obamacare repeal without a replacement were to pass, the results would be almost incomprehensibly detrimental for Americans. According to The Guardian, in January, the Congressional Budget Office analyzed the impact of a potential repeal without an immediate replacement and found that such a move would cause 32 million Americans to lose insurance by 2026; this number includes 19 million Americans who would lose Medicaid coverage.
Moreover, the CBO found that insurance premiums would rise by up to 50 percent in the first year after the repeal and that, within ten years, premiums would almost double.
Shortly after McConnell announced Republicans' intention to move forward with a vote on repeal without replacement, many legislators and members of the public took to social media to express their dismay at McConnell's decision — and to reiterate the CBO's findings.
Indeed, on Twitter, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut called repeal without replacement "a humanitarian disaster of incomprehensible scale." Some Twitter users expressed shock that Republicans seemingly now plan to just "wing it" when it comes to replacing Obamacare, while another Twitter user called repeal without replacement "outrageous cruelty." However, some Twitter users did express their support for the Republicans' decision to seek a repeal, saying they wished to see Obamacare fully eliminated.
It is not yet clear when exactly the Senate intends to vote on an Obamacare repeal measure, nor is it clear whether the measure would pass. While the Senate has previously voted to repeal the ACA under the Obama administration, it did so knowing that the president would veto it. It is less clear whether senators are willing to take the political risk and — far more importantly — risk the lives and healthcare of 32 million Americans under the administration of a Republican president who would likely surely sign the repeal measure into law.