Analysis: 6-10 million could lose health coverage under GOP plan

Analysis: 6-10 million could lose health coverage under GOP plan
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The Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare could lead 6 million to 10 million people to lose coverage, according to an analysis from Standard & Poor's.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence report released Tuesday found that 2 million to 4 million enrolled in ObamaCare individual markets could lose coverage, in addition to 4 million to 6 million who are covered through Medicaid.

“We expect a decline in enrollment in the individual (2 million–4 million) and Medicaid (4 million–6 million) segments,” the report said.

Over 20 million patients currently get coverage from ObamaCare.

The analysis, first reported by Vox, comes a day after Republicans unveiled their long-awaited health plan.

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Their proposal would scrap many of the law's key elements, including subsidies to purchase coverage, mandates for people to have insurance and the Medicaid expansion. In their place, Republicans are proposing tax credits that would be based on age, not income, and an overhaul of how the federal government funds Medicaid.

But the analysis says that higher tax credits for the elderly will not be enough to offset higher premiums, meaning that while many young people will find healthcare more affordable, older and lower-income individuals could lose insurance because of higher costs.

The GOP proposal would also freeze new enrollees in the Medicaid expansion beginning in 2020. Deep Banerjee, the author of the S&P report, told Vox that smaller states might find it harder to keep enrollees without the same level of federal help.

The House Republican healthcare proposal has already come under fire from conservatives who say it fails to fully repeal ObamaCare and creates new benefits under the tax credits. Centrist Republicans have expressed concerns about rolling back the Medicaid expansion.

The S&P analysis does forecast that insurers could see their “profitability ... likely improve." The forecast says the GOP "replacement plan can result in an improved risk pool in the individual market” because of more younger enrollees.

A 21-year-old, according to an S&P example, might see an average decline of 20 percent in their premium costs. Instead of paying an annual premium of $3,281, they would pay $2,625.

But older individuals would be hit by higher costs.

Republicans say their plan could save costs by letting people choose insurance plans that are less comprehensive than those required under ObamaCare. But according to the analysis, on average, most insured under ObamaCare would see their prices rise under the GOP plan.