Apr 26, 2023 - Health

CBO: 600,000 more uninsured from House GOP bill

An umbrella with large holes in it.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

About 600,000 people would become uninsured under the House Republican debt bill's plan to impose Medicaid work requirements, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Tuesday.

Why it matters: The estimate from Congress' nonpartisan scorekeeper gives a sense of the coverage loss from the proposal, while also highlighting the federal savings.

  • The federal government would save $109 billion over a decade by making Medicaid recipients work 80 hours a month, CBO estimated.

Between the lines: States would also have to pick up more of the cost for another 900,000 Medicaid enrollees who would lose federal funding for not complying with the work requirement.

  • Overall, CBO estimates about 15 million people could be subject to the work requirement each year. Opponents warn that even people who comply could end up losing coverage because of burdensome or confusing reporting requirements.
  • The Biden administration released its own report Tuesday estimating 21 million people subject to the work requirement and at risk of losing coverage.
  • The work requirement would apply to people ages 19–55 who are not disabled and do not have dependent children. Earlier state efforts to impose such requirements were struck down by courts.

The big picture: The bill is not going to pass the Senate, given strong Democratic opposition to work requirements and many other provisions. But it at least could serve to kick off negotiations if House Republicans are able to pass it this week.

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