Jan 17, 2017

New Obamacare repeal estimate: 18M uninsured, huge rate hikes

The Congressional Budget Office, the official budget scorekeeper for Congress, just handed Democrats two powerful new arguments against Obamacare repeal. In a new estimate of what would happen right away, here's what the budget office said:

  • 18 million uninsured in the first year after passage of the repeal bill
  • Premiums would increase by 20 to 25 percent
  • Both would get worse two years later, after Medicaid expansion and Obamacare subsidies go away

Yes, but: This is an estimate of what would happen if Congress re-passed the "reconciliation bill" it passed last year — the one President Obama vetoed. It knocks out large chunks of Obamacare, but not all of it. And it doesn't include any elements of a replacement. This year, Republicans have promised to pass a replacement quickly, and some elements might be included in the repeal bill.

But still: It's a fresh look at what might happen if Republicans don't replace Obamacare right away, not after a two-year transition. And it's a strong warning about the impact if they get rid of the individual mandate, one of the most unpopular parts of Obamacare, without changing the part that requires health insurers to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions.

Democrats are already sounding the alarms about the report. Expect to hear more from them — and from insurers.

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,991,102— Total deaths: 366,875 — Total recoveries — 2,530,050Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,758,304 — Total deaths: 103,353 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: What U.S. workplaces may look like next — George Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business — The future of mobility in the post-pandemic world.
  4. Public health: CDC pares down guidance on how to reopen houses of worship —  The coronavirus could give bioterrorists ideas, security group warns.
  5. States: New York City will reopen June 8, Cuomo says.
  6. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Gov. Tim Walz to mobilize Minnesota's full National Guard

Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Saturday he is activating the full National Guard to respond to street violence in Minneapolis that broke out during protests of a police encounter that left a black man, George Floyd, dead.

Why it matters: This is the first time the state has activated the full National Guard since World War II. " The Minnesota National Guard told Axios in an email that up to 10,000 soldiers and airmen would be deployed after all activations and processing are complete.