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House GOP amended health care bill, but CBO estimates of coverage losses are not likely to meaningfully improve

Follow up to previous postings included in CBO Health Score – 14 million more uninsured next year under GOP plan – via Brookings – “Late Monday night (March 20, 2017) Republican leaders unveiled a “manager’s amendment” that makes several changes to the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The House is currently scheduled to vote on an amended version of the AHCA sometime on Thursday. It remains unclear whether a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the revised legislation will be available before the House vote, and a score is very unlikely to be available before the bill’s markup in the House Rules Committee. In this analysis, we use CBO’s score of the earlier version of the AHCA as well as other CBO analyses to assess how the changes made in the manager’s amendment are likely to change CBO’s estimates of the effect of the AHCA on health insurance coverage. We conclude that the changes made by the manager’s amendment will not meaningfully alter CBO’s earlier prediction that the AHCA would substantially reduce insurance coverage. While one provision of the manager’s amendment would slightly relax the “per capita cap” on state Medicaid spending created under the AHCA and thereby modestly increase CBO’s estimate of insurance coverage under the AHCA, the work requirement and block grant options created by the manager’s amendment have the potential to cause additional coverage losses that largely or more than offset this improvement, at least if states take up these options…”

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