June 26, 2017
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the U.S. Senate Republicans' Better Care Reconciliation Act:
“Today’s analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reveals what can happen when you draft such monumental legislation in secret. Twenty-two million people would lose their health insurance under the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act – with 15 million losing coverage as early as next year.
“The Senate bill would drastically cut financial support for everyone trying to buy a plan in the individual market. The result – worse coverage and vastly increased costs, especially through higher out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.
“The Senate bill employs smoke and mirrors to make it look like someone would get a better deal – until you read the fine print of the legislation. The bill lowers the value of benefits, eventually leading to coverage that is worthless for many, especially those with lower incomes.
“Hundreds of thousands of people in Washington state would lose their health coverage if this legislation were to become law and I doubt our individual health insurance market would be sustainable.
“The GOP-controlled Congress continues to ignore input from people on the front lines of our health system and is pushing through their repeal of the Affordable Care Act in order to gain huge tax cuts for a wealthy few.
“For months, insurance regulators across the country along with providers, hospitals, and consumer advocates have shared concrete evidence on how this legislation would affect real people and the country’s health insurance market. Today’s score from the CBO illustrates our case even further.
“A healthy insurance market needs good risk and bad risk. By not having an effective individual mandate, requiring everyone who can to purchase health insurance, this is impossible to achieve. If people only buy coverage when they need it, the availability becomes nonexistent for those desperate for good coverage. This is not reform, it’s a disaster.“