CBO says Cassidy 'keep your plan' bill would raise $1B

A proposal by Rep. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTensions boil over on Senate floor amid coronavirus debate  Overnight Energy: Democratic lawmakers seek emissions reductions in airline bailout | House Dems warn Trump against oil industry bailout | GOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil market GOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil market MORE (R-La.) that would let people keep cheap group health plans outlawed by ObamaCare would bring in more than $1 billion in tax revenue over the next decade, according to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday.

Cassidy is a medical doctor challenging Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (D-La.) in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.

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He's pitched his bill as a response to what he calls Obama’s misleading promise that Americans could keep their existing health plan. He’s attacked Landrieu as the decisive vote on congressional passage of the healthcare law.

Cassidy’s “keep your plan” bill would let insurers continue to sell the cheap group plans, even if they don’t meet new standards of the Affordable Care Act. At least 2 million people would likely sign up for the less expensive plans by 2016, the budget office said.

But as more people sign up for the group plans, other health care customers will likely see their premiums spike. The new sign-ups would likely be younger and healthier adults seeking less extensive and cheaper coverage, according to the budget office.

Without those people enrolling in the more expansive health plans, the cost of those plans is likely to rise.

The bill would reduce the deficit by a total of $1.25 billion because the pool of taxable dollars would increase as employees spend less on health care premiums, which cannot be taxed. His proposal would bring in about $60 million in 2015 alone.

In a statement Tuesday, Cassidy said his bill would “allow American families to save money, to have access to affordable health care choices and will raise wages for workers.”

About 50 million people are covered by group plans nationwide. Insurance industry experts cautioned last year that those plans would soon be disrupted by new ObamaCare restrictions. 

The CBO predicts that the bill would likely have little impact on larger employers, which typically choose to self-insure.

Cassidy’s bill advanced to the House Rules Committee this week after winning approval from the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July.