It seems a day doesn’t go by without someone in the press talking about the new Trumpcare bill. Earlier this week, the Senate revealed their version of Trumpcare, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). It got a bit more support compared to the Congressional bill, but is still highly contentious. The main reason was a 50 page report by the Congressional Budget Office (a US federal agency) on the impacts of the proposed Senate plan.
We know most people are not going to read 50 pages full of financial analysis and insurance lingo, so we figured we would simplify and visualize the key parts of the report for you.
By the way, all of these mobile friendly visuals are customizable. You can create your own visuals by clicking on the orange button below each visual.
What’s the impact on the Federal Budget? Trumpcare will save $321B by 2026 if enacted. Where are all these savings coming from?
Most of the savings come from Medicaid expansion rollbacks. The government will save $772B by cutting back Medicaid services.
A substantial amount of savings will also come from reducing subsidies for non-group insurance buyers. Non-group insurance is the insurance you or your family buys on your own in the marketplace, as opposed to group insurance provided by your employer or an association.
While Trumpcare saves a lot from reducing Medicaid and subsidies, it also incurs significant losses of revenue (about $541B) from tax cuts for the rich, fees from manufacturers, excise taxes rollbacks.
The Trumpcare Senate plan also loses over $210B from reduced penalty payments. Under Trumpcare there will no longer be penalties for individuals who don’t want to get insured or for large employers who don’t provide healthcare for their employees.
The savings from Medicaid and subsidy cuts less the losses from tax cuts results in the net gain of $312B.
What’s the impact of Trumpcare on healthcare coverage? The CBO report estimates that 22M more people will be without insurance by 2026, compared to the current law (ACA or Obamacare)
The impact doesn’t affect everyone equally. The hardest hit are older people and people with low income. The percentage of uninsured older low income people will more than double.
Most of the coverage loss comes from Medicaid expansion cuts. The CBO estimates that 15M people will loss Medicaid coverage. In addition, there will be 7M less people with non-group insurance, either electing not to purchase or unable to afford it because of the loss of subsidies and higher costs.
What’s the Trumpcare impact on premiums? Trumpcare’s main selling point has been cheaper plans, and in this, it delivers. On average, single individual plans will be 20% cheaper than they are now under Obamacare.
But while the plan is cheaper, it pays less of the share of the total healthcare cost. The Senate Trumpcare plan pays less on average than any of the Obamacare plans. That means that while premiums are lower, you may pay a lot more out-of-pocket costs.
One of the key elements of Obamacare is guaranteeing 10 Essential Health Benefits (EHB) for all plans in the marketplace. This means everyone gets a guaranteed set of services and preconditions that are considered Essential Health Benefits are covered. In Trumpcare, these Essential Health Benefits are no longer mandated by the federal government. States have the right to waive some of these services and insurance companies in those states can then pick and choose which service to include in their plans.
Obamacare did not allow annual or lifetime limits on benefits. Trumpcare reverses this and allows insurance companies to put a limit of how much money they can spend on you. That means if your healthcare spending reaches that limit, you’ll have to pay for the rest out-of-pocket.
This article is part of the Making Data Fun series, where we focus on summarizing complicated information and data into easy to digest and fun visuals! You can sign up to our blog to get weekly updates.
*Thanks to Nathan Woodall for reading drafts of this.