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AHCA Score/California Single-Payer Next Steps

American Health Care Act

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), on May 24th, published its final “score” of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) as approved by the House of Representatives on May 4th. The CBO’s prior score, in late March, was a key factor leading to the AHCA’s withdrawal from consideration by the House of Representatives on March 24th and its modification over the next six weeks.

The CBO’s most recent estimate states that for the 10-year period beginning in 2017, the AHCA would reduce the deficit by $119 billion, $32 billion less than it first estimated in March and that 23 million (instead of 24 million) individuals will lose coverage during that 10-year period. In essence, the intense negotiations had no material effect on the CBO score, but certainly had a material impact on the public’s view of the AHCA and the likelihood that it will survive intact as it moves over to the U. S. Senate for consideration where lawmakers have been looking into the possibility of drafting their own legislation. The political dynamics that were in place in early May have not changed since we published “On To The Senate” three weeks ago.

California Single-Payer

Meanwhile, on the left coast, the Senate appropriations committee easily passed a bill to enact a single-payer system in California despite a staggering $400 billion cost estimate and no stated plan for funding it. The cost estimate exceeds the entire state budget. The bill now moves on to the full Senate for consideration.

Most experts consider single-payer legislation in California to be a long-shot at this time:

  • The governor has expressed significant concern about the financing.
  • The concept has been voted on and never enacted, many times in California and in other states.
  • Such a bill would hurt significant sectors of Main Street and Wall Street.
  • If the bill gains traction, surely national business interests will jump in to apply pressure to defeat it. They would not want California to establish a precedent for the rest of the states.

Not sure what “single-payer” means? Check out the answer. If you would like to learn how “single-payer” could affect your clients and your business, we recommend reviewing these talking points developed by the California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU), the professional association that represents health insurance agents and brokers and their clients.

Note: The California State Senate could vote on California’s Single-Payer bill (SB 562) anytime between May 30 and June 2, 2017.

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