WASHINGTON â€” President Donald Trump told Americans he’d do it all on health care: “insurance for everybody,” better coverage and lower consumer costs. By the reckoning of nonpartisan budget analysts at Congress, that’s not what will happen if the Republican bill he’s backing becomes law.
A look at how statements by Trump and his team compare with estimates of the Congressional Budget Office:
TRUMP: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” â€” To The Washington Post, Jan. 15.
CBO: It estimates the bill would leave 14 million fewer people insured in the first year, 24 million fewer by 2026. One reason: higher premiums. As well, the requirement to obtain insurance would be gone. And Medicaid would change, with states pulling back on expanding eligibility for the program and with spending per enrollee capped.
TRUMP: People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better… lower numbers, much lower deductibles.”
CBO: It says cost-sharing payments in the individual market, including deductibles, “would tend to be higher than those anticipated under current law.” Cost-sharing subsidies would be repealed in 2020, “significantly increasing out-of-pocket costs for nongroup (private) insurance for many lower-income enrollees.”
TRUMP, at a Cabinet meeting Monday: “Obamacare, all of a sudden, the last couple of weeks, is getting a false rep that maybe it’s OK. It’s not OK, it’s a disaster and people understand that it’s failed and it’s imploding. And if we let it go for another year, it’ll totally implode.”
CBO: Not in the view of the budget experts. They described the market for individual policies under Barack Obama’s health care law as “stable.” They said it is likely to remain stable under the proposed GOP replacement legislation, too.
TOM PRICE, health and human services secretary: “I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through.” â€” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sunday.
CBO: There are losers as well as winners, the analysts found. Generally, older people are bound to face higher costs because the legislation would let insurance companies charge them up to five times more for premiums than they charge young people. They can only be charged three times more now. The bottom line, the analysts say, would be “substantially reducing premiums for young adults and substantially raising premiums for older people.”
MICK MULVANEY, Trump’s budget director: “Actually I don’t think the costs will go up at all.” â€” ABC’s “This Week,” Sunday.
CBO: It estimates that some costs indeed will go up, at least for a few years. The analysts say average premiums in the private insurance market would rise in 2018 and 2019 by 15 per cent to 20 per cent, compared with current law, then start to come down. By 2026, average premiums could be 10 per cent lower, compared with current law. One reason: insurers could eliminate a current requirement to offer plans that cover a set percentage of the cost of certain benefits.
Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.
Find all AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd
EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures
Calvin Woodward And Jim Drinkard, The Associated Press