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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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CBO Finds Millions Would Lose Health Coverage

The GOP's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would cut Medicaid funding and cause 23 million people nationally to lose health coverage, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. (Pixabay)
The GOP's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would cut Medicaid funding and cause 23 million people nationally to lose health coverage, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. (Pixabay)
May 26, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – The Congressional Budget Office says 23 million Americans would lose their health insurance by 2026 if the American Health Care Act becomes law. Some 14 million of those 23 million would lose coverage because of plans to cut Medicaid by $884 billion.

The CBO predicts the uninsured rate would increase from 10 percent to close to 18 percent in the next decade. The AHCA narrowly passed in the U.S. House earlier this month.

Some Senate Republicans have promised to make sure Medicaid recipients would be protected under the new law.

The CBO says the Republican plan could lower premiums by four to 20 percent by 2026.

Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser with the Bipartisan Policy Center, notes those reductions would come at the expense of rising costs for many sicker and low-income people as well as West Virginians between 50 and 60 - who would no longer be able to afford insurance.

"Under the new law, if it were to pass, people who were in that age group would be able to be charged five times as much for insurance as younger people - in some cases, as much as $7,000 of additional costs to get covered," he notes.

Proponents of the plan argue block-granting Medicaid funds to states would spark innovative solutions. Slavitt disagrees.

"This really is about the federal government saving money - cutting the money that they give to states for care, and then taking that money and turning around and providing a tax break to very high-income people, the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies," he explains.

The CBO estimates the Republican bill could cut the federal deficit by $119 billion in 10 years.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA