Brookings: Trumpcare Premiums Higher Than Obamacare With Equal Coverage

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

This seems like a pretty clear illustration of just how bad the GOP's Obamacare repeal bill is.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that individual insurance premiums would increase by up to 20 percent over the next two years if the GOP bill is signed into law. The CBO also estimated that premiums would decrease by 10 percent in the following years, however that analysis assumes that most insurance plans won't be required to cover very much and that seniors will be priced out of the market.

New analysis from the Brookings Institute estimates that individual insurance premiums would increase even further (relative to current law) if insurance companies were required to provide the same level of coverage as they do now.

However, as some observers have noted, this estimated change incorporates changes in the generosity of the plans being offered on the individual market, as well as a shift in the composition of individual market enrollment toward younger individuals, who pay lower premiums. The CBO estimate does not, therefore, answer the question of greatest interest, which is how CBO expects the AHCA to affect average premiums for a given generosity of coverage and a fixed population of individual market enrollees.

However, other information provided in CBO’s analysis can be used to answer this question. Using that information, we estimate that premiums would be around 13 percent higher under the AHCA than they are under current law, holding plan generosity and the individual market age distribution fixed at their current law levels.

In other words, premiums would increase under Trumpcare if the quality and quantity of coverage provided was equal. Obamacare is undoubtedly a better deal than Trumpcare.

That may seem obvious, but this is a significant finding because additional changes to the law that could potentially lower insurance premiums are part of Speaker Paul Ryan's so-called "three-pronged approach," or what Ted Cruz refers to as the "sucker's bucket." There's no guarantee that any of it will pass as it could be filibustered.

In that event, under ideal conditions, most people would find themselves paying more than they would have under Obamacare for the same level of coverage. It's just as likely that most people will find themselves paying more for lesser coverage. The average person is pretty much fucked even if Republicans manage to pass everything they want to pass.

The best option for the GOP is to do nothing.

  • muselet


    With a House vote on the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act just over the horizon, President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning huddled in the basement of the Capitol to pressure a divided Republican caucus to fall in line.

    Lawmakers exiting the meeting told reporters that Trump bluntly told them their seats would be in jeopardy in 2018 if they did not vote “yes” Thursday on the American Health Care Act.

    There’s no guarantee RepubliCare will pass the House, let alone the Senate, but I wouldn’t bet against it just yet. There are still a couple of days for yet more horse-trading and arm-twisting before the vote on Thursday.

    As for the bill itself, it’s the perfect R legislation: almost everybody gets hurt financially and absolutely everybody gets hurt medically, while (some) corporations make out like bandits. The only thing missing is an exhortation to die quickly.

    All because the Right can’t stand the idea of the black guy having a legacy.


    • Scopedog

      The GOP certainly seem eager to shoot themselves in the foot with a fucking bazooka.

      Their constituents are now waking up to the fact that taking away the ACA is going to hit them hard, maybe even kill them, and none of Ryan’s babble and shit-eating grinning will change that.

      I’ve never seen a political party so willing to commit suicide just because a Black guy was a better President than any of their guys and was a better person than any of them.

    • Draxiar

      I would love to see those he threatened turn back and say, “Yeah? Piss off.”