A bill to repeal major components of the Affordable Care Act that would also defund nationwide healthcare provider Planned Parenthood would reduce the federal deficit by $516 billion over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said in an estimate published Monday. The bill, HR 3762, was passed by the Senate in December and is expected to come up for a vote in the House Wednesday before heading to President Barack Obama's desk. The president has said he would veto it.
The bill, dubbed the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, would repeal several requirements vital to Obamacare, including the mandate that requires employers of a minimum size to offer employees health insurance. It would also undo what's known as the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a hefty fine. Republicans have previously highlighted the savings that would result from a repeal of these sections, such as their contention that eliminating the employer mandate would save $7.9 billion from 2016 to 2025. Still, the CBO has projected that doing so would leave an additional estimated 750,000 people uninsured after 2018.
The bill also would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood over the next year and instead increase funding to community health centers.
A previous estimate by the CBO said that the bill would cut the federal deficit by $474 billion, but that projection changed after several delays on healthcare taxes were enacted, the Hill reported. The implementation of the Cadillac tax, nicknamed as such because it is imposed on insurance plans, in 2018 was delayed two years, as were taxes on medical devices and health insurance premiums, as part of a spending bill signed in December.
The White House has credited the Affordable Care Act with helping 16.4 million adults in the U.S. gain health insurance coverage along with lowering healthcare costs, improving medical care and saving lives.