World Bulletin / News Desk
An additional 14 million people will not have health insurance next year under a planned Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act, a nonpartisan congressional office said Monday.
In a decade that number will surge to 24 million, the Congressional Budget Office said in its assessment of the proposal.
It said in a report that most of the surge in uninsured Americans next year will come from the planned repealing of penalties that force individuals to have coverage.
Other planned changes to former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law will see the number of those who lose coverage skyrocket to 21 million by 2020 and 24 million by 2026.
That year, an estimated 52 million would not have coverage, compared to nearly half, 28 million, who would lack coverage under the current law.
But the report said the Republican proposal, known as the American Health Care Act, "would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period".
Republicans have criticized the existing law, popularly known as "Obamacare", for what they said are rising costs to individuals while healthcare choices have deteriorated.
Still, the bill has been met with stiff criticism from a relatively wide cross-section of individuals and groups, including a united Democratic Party.
The AARP, the leading advocate for the elderly in the U.S., has criticized the Republican plan.
It said last week the plan would weaken the fiscal sustainability of Medicare, a federal insurance program mainly targeted at Americans aged 65 or older and people with disabilities.
Monday's congressional report is likely to further add to the obstacles House Speaker Paul Ryan is facing as he tries to get a repeal and replace bill through his chamber.
"It’s important to note that this report does not take into consideration additional steps Congress and the Trump administration are taking that will further lower costs and increase choices," Ryan said in a statement.
"Under Obamacare, we have seen how government-mandated coverage does not equal access to care, and now the law is collapsing," he added.
At the White House, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told reporters, “We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out.
He said the plan would cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want.
Price argued that the congressional office ignored other legislative action during its review.Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Mart 2017, 08:21