“We can work with them to do that, but what they have put forth is a terrible bill, 24 million people kicked off of health insurance, which the speaker calls an act of mercy, an act of mercy.
“So, when he talks about his bill, imagine a bill that takes 24 million people out of health insurance. …”
—House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” March 19
Pelosi repeated a claim about the GOP replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act that goes too far. We explored this in a fact-check on Democrats’ rhetoric about the health-care bill and findings in a Congressional Budget Office report.
Several others used this talking point during Sunday talk show interviews on March 19, including some hosts, a commentator and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine): “Under the House bill, 14 million Americans would lose coverage next year. That rises to 24 million over the next decade.”
The CBO estimated that under the GOP replacement bill, 14 million fewer people would be insured in 2018 than under the current health-care law and 24 million fewer people would be insured by 2026.
But this does not mean all of the 14 million or 24 million will be “kicked off” health insurance or “lose” health insurance.
Many of the people who would be uninsured, at least initially, would choose not to have insurance, because they had decided to obtain coverage only to avoid a penalty under the ACA’s individual mandate; the replacement bill would eliminate the mandate. Others, such as elderly Americans, would not get insurance because the premiums are too high. (The replacement bill would allow the elderly to be charged five times as much as the youngest insured, compared with a 3:1 ratio under the ACA.) Many of the uninsured people would lose insurance because of reductions in Medicaid enrollment — after some states discontinue the Medicaid expansion under the ACA.
The CBO estimated that the GOP bill would lead to 14 million fewer people insured than under the ACA by 2018. Six million of those 14 million would be people who now have coverage through the individual insurance market; 5 million would be people with coverage under Medicaid; and 2 million would be people with coverage through their employers, which also would no longer be required to provide insurance. (The remainder come from other insurance shifts.)
The Fact Checker Recidivism Watch tracks politicians who repeat claims that we have previously found to be incorrect or false. These posts are short summaries of previous findings, with links to the original fact-check. We welcome reader suggestions.
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