Jacquelyn Martin / AP
The good news:
- $321 billion in net deficit reduction ($202 billion more than the House).
- Average premiums would go down starting in 2020.
- The markets would be stable through 2020, and stable after that "in most areas of the country."
The bad news:
- 22 million fewer people would have health coverage.
- The increase in the uninsured would be "disproportionately larger among older people with lower income."
- $772 billion in Medicaid cuts.
- States would have to decide whether to put more money into Medicaid, cut doctors' payments, eliminate optional services, restrict eligibility, or all of the above.
- Average premiums would go up before 2020.
- People would pay "substantial increases" for services no longer considered essential benefits.
- "Coverage for maternity care, mental health care, rehabilitative and habilitative treatment, and certain very expensive drugs could be at risk."
- Annual and lifetime limits could return for those services, too.
- Deductibles would be higher. (Closer to $6,000 for a benchmark plan, vs. $3,600 under the Affordable Care Act.)
- Some "sparsely populated areas" would have no insurers.
Key quote: "As a result, despite being eligible for premium tax credits, few low-income people would purchase any plan, CBO and JCT estimate." - CBO score