Senate Republicans head home still searching for health care deal

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Health care groups that represent doctors and patients are warning members of Congress that the House Republicans' plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act would hurt people who need insurance most.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the number of uninsured people would increase by 14 million next year, and by 2026, 51 million US citizens below age 65 will have no insurance, based on the estimates of the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).

"People who are less healthy (including those with pre-existing or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive. health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all", said the CBO report.

Hardest hit by insurance losses would be low-income adults. According to the CBO, a 64-year-old with $26,500 in annual income would be charged $21,000 in health care premiums and receive $4,900 in tax credits.

For his part, Cassidy reiterated his call for any bill to provide coverage for anyone with a life-threatening illness even if they exceed a certain amount of costs, which he called the "Jimmy Kimmel test" after the late-night talk show host revealed his newborn son's medical travails, making a plea for affordable health care for all.

That led to higher premiums for people buying their own health insurance policies, along with tax increases and more federal regulation.

Because such a large number of people would become uninsured, the Senate will likely not use much of what the House version had.

That is because some states would seek waivers from health-care market rules that would allow healthy people to segregate themselves in their own cheap risk pool, leaving sicker people with skyrocketing costs.

The act could make obtaining health care coverage prohibitively expensive for some sicker Americans, the CBO found.

Despite GOP promises that the bill will cut costs for Americans, the CBO's analysis determined that for people with pre-existing conditions or those in "high risk" pools, premiums may increase to exorbitant prices.

But, he said for Arizona, it is important to get it done and repeal and replace President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

House Republicans came under sharp criticism for passing the bill before the CBO could make its assessment.

The American Health Care Act would do away with subsidies for those who purchased health insurance plans via state-based and federal exchanges, and allow states to let insurers to once again deny insurance to people who are already sick or have had a lapse in coverage. "Some of that decline would be among people who are now eligible for Medicaid benefits, and some would be among people who CBO projects would, under current law, become eligible in the future as additional states adopted the ACA's option to expand eligibility", the agency wrote in its report. -New Jersey, that would allow states to apply for a waiver from two significant requirements. A 40-year-old living in a state making these changes and earning $68,200 a year would pay $2,900 in out-of-pocket premiums, compared to $1,700 under Obamacare.

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