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The president’s commission said as many as 115 million people could get medical insurance by 2027 if federal programs were expanded
The federal government will spend an additional $10tn over the next decade if Congress approves Democratic plans to expand health insurance to more Americans, according to a report from a White House commission released Tuesday.
Democrats’ plan to expand Medicaid ‘falls short’, say top Republicans Read more
If the Affordable Care Act is not expanded to cover more people, that would result in $4tn in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid by 2027, the commission’s report said.
President Donald Trump is proceeding with executive orders that will allow states to opt out of protections for people with pre-existing conditions and shorten the length of health insurance policies by allowing insurers to sell less comprehensive coverage.
The president’s health and human services secretary, Alex Azar, told reporters on a conference call that the commission’s estimate of added spending is far higher than the $4tn in cuts the Trump administration plans to impose on Medicare and Medicaid, which cover the elderly and the poor.
“It’s a far more complicated prescription than one might be first led to believe,” Azar said.
The commission estimated as many as 115 million people could get medical insurance by 2027 if federal programs, including Medicaid and Medicare, were expanded. If they are not expanded, that number is reduced to 80 million.
Trump endorsed expanded coverage during his presidential campaign but now is blocking Obama’s health law’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions and enabling states to buy out of the law’s marketplace.
In an early estimate, the Congressional Budget Office said that some 13 million people could get covered next year under Trump’s moves, but that it would phase out over the next decade as healthier people turned away by the changes avoid the insurance pools.
The Senate is moving forward with a repeal of the 2010 health law, but it faces long odds. Two Senate committees have approved a bill, which must be merged with a House version before it can go to the floor for a vote. Senate leaders say they are working on a package that could come to the floor soon.
Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, who chairs the intelligence committee, asked: “At a time when the needs of our seniors and Americans with disabilities are at such a low ebb, the president’s administration is prioritizing deep cuts to an agency that ensures that no one should go without basic healthcare.”
The House bill would make significant cuts to Medicaid. The Senate version offers much smaller cuts, at about $772bn by 2027, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.