Study: 25 million could lose health coverage under Trump

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s healthcare plan would erase all of the coverage gains from ObamaCare and then some, while Democrat Hillary Clinton’s plan would bring the nation’s uninsured rate to another historic low, according to a new analysis.

As many as 25 million people could lose their coverage if Trump becomes president, according to a new study released Friday by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund. Most of those people would be low-income and in poor health.

In sharp contrast, 9.6 million more people could have access to healthcare under Clinton.

The analysis is the most comprehensive to date about the two candidates’ healthcare plans, which are among their biggest policy agendas even if they rarely offer details in stump speeches.

It shows that Trump’s plan, which calls for repealing ObamaCare, would have a dramatic effect on both the number of people with coverage and the federal deficit. Repealing the law — without replacing the revenue from several large taxes — could increase the deficit by as much as $41 billion.

Clinton, who has released detailed policy promises to expand ObamaCare, would also have a large effect on the federal deficit, increasing it by as much as $90 billion.  

Her most expensive policy involves new subsidies for people to cover their out-of-pocket costs, up to $2,500 per person or $5,000 per family. The total cost is estimated to be about $110 billion per year, while also reducing the cost of Medicaid by $25 million.

Clinton’s plan would also add a “public option” — a government-run health plan — to ObamaCare’s exchanges.

That plan, which has been popular among progressives, could save the government about $700 million per year, according to the study. Researchers said the competition from a public option would likely cause a slight decrease in other plans’ premiums, and it could also save the government money because the plans are cheaper than other plans on the ObamaCare marketplace.  

The Commonwealth Fund did not analyze all of Clinton’s healthcare proposals, including one in which people could buy into Medicare, because it was announced later in the year.

The study, which was created by RAND Corp. and funded by the Commonwealth Fund, was created with some help from the campaigns: Researchers said they reached out to the candidates for more details about their proposals. If they could not get the needed information for modeling, they said, they made “reasonable assumptions” about the outcomes.

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