The actuary for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services predicted that the healthcare law repeal-and-replace bill that cleared the U.S. House last month will mean 10 million fewer uninsured than forecast by the Congressional Budget Office.
In May the CBO estimated that the so-called Trumpcare bill would mean 23 million people would lack health insurance by 2026. Last week, chief CMS actuary Paul Spitalnic issued a 30-page report detailing his office’s predictions for the American Health Care Act, saying it would mean 4 million more uninsured people in 2018-2019 and13 million more by 2026.
But the actuary’s estimate assumes a much smaller reduction in federal healthcare spending, at $328 billion over a decade, compared with the CBO’s $1.11 trillion prediction, which translated into an overall deficit reduction of $119 million. If the savings are less than ⅓ of that, as the Medicare auditor predicted, the AHCA could wind up having a negligible impact on the deficit – or even increase it.
“All these kinds of projections are uncertain and require lots of assumptions, so the range between what the actuary is saying and what CBO estimated is within the realm of what’s possible,” Kaiser Family Foundation EVP Larry Levitt told USA Today.
A group of 13 Senators is working behind closed doors on the Upper Chamber’s version of the Trumpcare bill, hastening to beat an end-of-month deadline when Congress will be in recess.