Report: 23M more to be uninsured under AHCA; Hatch, others call it best fix

SALT LAKE CITY — A report from the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday estimated that 23 million more Americans will be uninsured by 2026 under the American Health Care Act compared to current law, while also projecting more than $119 billion in savings to the federal budget deficit over 10 years.

The report also concluded that average insurance premiums on the individual market would rise through 2019, but ultimately drop about between 4 and 20 percent for most of the country by 2026.

In all, “tens of thousands” of Utahns could lose coverage in the next nine years if the U.S. Senate passes the law, said Utah Health Policy Project spokesman Jason Stevenson, who added that an exact figure for the state was difficult to immediately estimate.

The report, which also predicted 14 million fewer Americans would be insured under the American Health Care Act as early as next year, elicited anger from state Democratic lawmakers, who argued that the changes show federal lawmakers are callously depriving disadvantaged, elderly and sick people from essential coverage.

“It would do great devastation to so many low-income Utah families, it’s almost unfathomable that anyone could be that noncaring,” said state Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake. “It’s kind of the opposite of when you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren. This plan takes away from the poorest and those most needy and the most deserving of our help and gives it to the … the richest in our community.”

However, the report did nothing to change support of the bill by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who said Wednesday that the House-approved bill is an attempt at “common sense reforms that…

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