CBO estimates 32 million more uninsured in a decade with Obamacare repeal

The number is higher than under plans that include a replacement.

ByABC News
July 19, 2017, 6:39 PM

— -- The Congressional Budget Office's estimate of Senate Republicans' latest push to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a concurrent replacement plan indicates the strategy would result in a major increase of the country's uninsured when compared to current law.

The number of uninsured persons would increase by 17 million in 2018 under the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA) compared to the rules already in place. That amount increases to 27 million in 2020, then 32 million additional uninsured by 2026.

The CBO estimates that the plan would decrease deficits by $473 billion by the end of the next 10 years.

An effort to simply repeal Obamacare was proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Monday evening after Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, signaled their opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republicans' replacement plan.

The CBO previously estimated that proposed law would result in 22 million more uninsured persons and a deficit reduction of $321 billion by 2026.

In addition to those who will not be covered by insurance, the repeal-only act will increase premiums for those who hold plans, according to the CBO.

The office estimates that "average premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by roughly 25 percent" in one year. That average premium increase would hit 50 percent by 2020 compared to projections of rates under the current law, and double by 2026, the CBO said.

Despite the CBO's efforts to issue the estimate of the ORRA Wednesday, it appeared unlikely Tuesday that the act had enough support to pass. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, all signaled their opposition to a straight repeal, enough "no" votes to stop the legislation when combined with a Democratic blockade.

As White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's preference is still to simultaneously repeal and replace the ACA -- even as Trump has promoted both a repeal-only strategy and said the GOP should "let Obamacare die" in the last two days -- a group of Senate Republicans will meet Wednesday night to attempt to bridge the diverging plans, ABC News has confirmed.

The group, which will meet in Sen. John Barrasso's office, will also include representatives from the White House.

ABC News' Ali Rogin contributed to this report.

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