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CBO: 32 million more would be uninsured under proposed health law repeal

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Republican bill erasing but not replacing much of President Barack Obama’s health care law would mean an additional 32 million uninsured people by 2026.

The report from Congress’ nonpartisan budget analyst says the measure would cause average premiums for people buying their own health insurance to double by 2026.

It also says that by that same year, three-fourths of Americans would live in regions without any insurers selling policies to individuals.

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The report estimates the legislation would decrease federal deficits by $473 billion over that 10-year window.

It was released as Senate leaders consider a vote next week on legislation repealing Obama’s law, but not replacing it.

Earlier Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has every expectation that Republicans will be able to begin debate on repealing the health care law next week.

McConnell made the comments to reporters after a White House lunch with President Donald Trump. McConnell said the Senate will hold a procedural vote next week on moving ahead on a straight-up repeal of Barack Obama’s health care law.

 

In the meantime, Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday evening working with senators.

Trump invited all senators to the White House where he pressured them to act on the legislation before leaving Washington for the August recess.

“I’m ready to act,” Trump said, putting the responsibility on Republican senators, not himself. During last year’s presidential campaign he had declared repeatedly it would be “so easy” to get rid of the Obama law.

Trump’s comments Wednesday came just a day after the latest GOP health care plan collapsed in the Senate, leading Trump himself to say it was time to simply let President Barack Obama’s health care law fail. McConnell had indicated he was prepared to stick a fork in the Republican bill and move on to other issues including overhauling the tax code.

But in an apparent change of heart, Trump pressured McConnell to delay the key vote until next week.

“For seven years you promised the American people that you would repeal Obamacare. People are hurting. Inaction is not an option and frankly I don’t think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan,” Trump said.

 

The Washington Post contributed.

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