A Nebraska Congressman says work must continue on the Republican replacement of the Affordable Care Act, even in the face of a negative report.
A report from the Congressional Budget Office estimates 14 million Americans would lose health insurance under the new Republican plan in 2018. The projections grow worse the farther out you go. The CBO estimates 21 million would lose health insurance in 2020 and that by 2026 the number of those without health insurance would grow to 24 million.
Approximately 20 million have gained health insurance since the Affordable Care Act became law.
Congressman Adrian Smith say many of those, particularly the young, would choose not to have health insurance with the elimination of the health insurance mandate. But Smith concedes Republicans must find a way to help those who would lose health insurance, because they could not afford it.
“The vulnerable folks, we want them to have a seamless transition to a better situation; that they wouldn’t be, even temporarily, left without coverage,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Smith says it is appropriate to be a bit skeptical of the CBO numbers. He points out the CBO missed on some of its projections for the ACA, such as the infamous prediction that each family would save $2,500 a year in insurance premiums.
Smith believes returning insurance to the private sector will increase affordability and accessibility.
“The bureaucracy in Washington I find responsible to be pushing the cost of health care up,” Smith says. “I mean the more the government has gotten involved in health care, the more expensive it has become.”
The CBO does contain some good news for Republicans. It predicts insurance premiums will begin to fall under the GOP plan. It also projects that the Republican alternative would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over a decade.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]