What Congress Is Doing About Health Care and Why It Matters
Posted On July 12, 2021
By David J. Goyer | October 15, 2017 10:07 a.m.
Congress has failed to pass legislation that would stabilize the nation’s health care system, a new report by the Congressional Budget Office has found.
The analysis found that by 2024, Americans will face $20 trillion in health care costs.
“The failure to stabilize our health care systems, and the uncertainty it has created, have created uncertainty and a significant burden for many Americans,” the report said.
It said the nation would face an $18 trillion health care deficit by 2024 if Congress does not act to address the crisis.
The CBO said the health care bill that passed Congress last year, which was a $1.2 trillion package, would have helped stabilize the country’s health insurance system.
But the report noted that the package included many changes to how insurance companies treat pre-existing conditions and limited benefits, and did not fully address many of the key concerns of the public, including those that are most likely to drive enrollment in the insurance marketplaces that are being rolled out.
The bill would have created a new health care marketplace in 2020, a $50 billion insurance fund to help cover those newly eligible for insurance and to provide coverage to all those without insurance, as well as expanded Medicaid and other health care benefits to millions of low-income people.
The report said the bill did not address any of the major problems with the bill, including its funding structure and the impact on the health of young adults.
The failure to pass the bill is a major blow to the president’s legislative agenda, the report found, and could lead to an additional loss of coverage and higher premium costs for millions of Americans.
The Congressional Budget Committee released the report on Monday.
The Senate health care package passed in May would have provided $10 billion a year to stabilize the health insurance markets, while the House plan would have paid for the bill by eliminating federal funding for the states.
The two bills are being considered in the Senate by a small number of Republicans and Democrats.
The House plan has been criticized for leaving states with less control over the health plans they choose, which the CBO found could be “the largest source of uncertainty for many individuals and the largest risk to the health and financial security of millions of American consumers.”
The House bill would also allow insurers to charge older Americans more for health insurance, while repealing provisions in the Affordable Care Act that required people to have health coverage.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has been used by both parties for decades as a tool to estimate the impact of policies and programs.
The most recent version of the bill was released in January, and its main provision, requiring insurers to cover everyone with pre-paid health insurance for an average of 30 months, was also dropped.
But it also added the expansion of Medicaid to cover the costs of the ACA’s expansion.
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf called the report a “step in the right direction,” and said that lawmakers need to find a solution that works for everyone.
“But this report’s conclusions are more sobering than they are hopeful,” Elmendorff said.
“This report raises a number of important questions about the path forward, including: Why has Congress failed to act to stabilize health care spending, particularly after passing legislation to address its crisis?
How long will it take to solve this problem?
What are the best strategies to ensure that the public is not hurt by a health care crisis?”
The report was released as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill prepare to meet in a special session to debate and pass the health bill.
It comes just two days after the president signed an executive order directing federal agencies to start implementing the Affordable Healthcare Act’s new health insurance market.
Trump also issued an executive action Friday directing agencies to begin implementing the law’s Medicaid expansion.
The order directs agencies to implement the Medicaid expansion, which provides coverage for low- and moderate-income families.
The Medicaid expansion is the largest expansion of government health insurance available to the American people, which has helped millions of people get health insurance.
Republicans and Democratic lawmakers are pushing for changes to the law, such as requiring all Americans to have coverage or the ability to keep it, and eliminating some federal subsidies for insurance purchases.
They also want to limit federal subsidies that help low-wage workers buy coverage, while increasing federal penalties for companies that do not cover their employees.
But there are some Republicans who are opposed to any changes to Medicaid.
They argue that expanding coverage will lead to people leaving the insurance markets and driving up premiums.