By Tami Luhby
NEW YORK — A new Senate bill to repeal Obamacare would leave 32 million more people uninsured by 2026 than under current law, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released Wednesday.
Even more stunning, three-quarters of the nation would live in areas with no insurers participating in the individual market by 2026 — leaving many without an option if they do not have employer-provided or government health insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Also, premiums would about double by 2026, compared to current law.
Enacting the legislation would decrease deficits by $473 billion over the next decade, however this bill doesn’t take into account the cost of a replacement plan.
The new bill, unveiled Wednesday afternoon, would effectively repeal Obamacare in 2020, giving lawmakers until then to come up with a replacement plan. But it would also eliminate the individual and employer mandates retroactively to 2016, and get rid of taxes on the wealthy and others. It would eliminate Medicaid expansion starting in 2020, but it would not curtail federal support for the overall program as the House and Senate health care bills would have.
It would also defund Planned Parenthood for one year.
After the more comprehensive Senate health care bill ran aground on Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unexpectedly said he would call a vote on a simple repeal of Obamacare. The bill is modeled after the 2015 bill that passed both chambers of Congress, but was vetoed by then-President Obamacare. Nearly all of today’s current Republican senators voted for the 2015 bill.
That effort was halted Tuesday after three Republicans refused to support a motion to proceed, but McConnell has promised to bring it up for a vote next week.
In some important ways, this new bill repeals less of Obamacare than the legislation that passed the House and was under consideration in the Senate until this week. It doesn’t touch Obamacare’s insurance provisions, including the immensely popular protections for those with pre-existing conditions. That will make it more likely to comply with Senate rules that will allow it to be passed with a simple majority.