Mar 14, 2017

The good and the bad in the CBO report

Andrew Harnik / AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan's not wrong when he says there are "encouraging" things for Republicans in the Congressional Budget Office Trumpcare estimates. But there's even more bad news buried within the report, too. Here are a few of the smartest expert takes out this morning.

  • Avik Roy, a conservative health care analyst who has been critical of the bill, agrees that some of the estimates are better than expected, noting in Forbes that CBO thinks the bill "would result in a relatively stable nongroup market." He also highlights its estimate of $337 billion in net deficit reduction.
  • The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, however, warns that "millions will pay substantially higher premiums due to large cuts in tax credits that outweigh the slight decrease in average premiums."
  • Stanford University's Lanhee Chen, a member of the Axios board of experts, writes for CNN that the report is good news for conservatives because of the deficit reduction and long-term decrease in premiums — but warns that Republicans may have to change the bill to win moderates by boosting the coverage.
  • At the Health Affairs blog, Timothy Jost, a legal expert and Obamacare supporter, writes that one of the most alarming estimates is that "millions — CBO does not say how many — of low-income, older people would lose coverage ... because they could no longer afford it after the age rating ratio and premium tax credits changed."
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