Inslee: Analysis of House Republican health care plan ‘confirms our worst fears’

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says say that a nonpartisan analysis of the House Republican plan to replace the national health care law “confirms our worst fears.”

Monday’s report by the Congressional Budget Office projects that 14 million people nationwide would lose coverage next year under the House bill dismantling former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Under the estimate, there would be 24 million more people uninsured by 2026 than under current law.

Inslee said in response, “Today’s analysis from the nonpartisan CBO confirms our worst fears about the Republican effort in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” also referred to as Obamacare. “It would actually leave our nation worse off than before the ACA was implemented.

“Republican leaders use words like ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ to hide what they’re really doing, which is ripping away one of our most important safety nets and rewinding the clock to a time before cancer patients could get coverage, all women could get preventative care and thousands could get help for opioid addiction.

“I will be personally contacting every member of Washington’s congressional delegation and calling on them to reject this attack on working families and vulnerable Americans.”

However, Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington issued a statement that sees it differently:

“The CBO report confirms that House Republicans’ process to repeal and replace Obamacare will lower premiums and taxes, reduce the federal deficit, increase consumer choice, and reform Medicaid for the first time in its 52-year history,” she said. “I hear the concerns people have about CBO’s projected coverage numbers. However, their score doesn’t tell the whole story. CBO doesn’t take into account future actions Congress and the Administration will take to further lower costs and increase coverage options. Our plan will open up the insurance market so more people can find plans they want at prices they can afford, while addressing the disconnect between coverage and access to care.”

State officials have said that more than 600,000 lower-income people in Washington state who gained coverage through Medicaid expansion could potentially lose coverage depending on what changes are made to the law at the federal level. If the state sought to backfill the Medicaid expansion numbers in order to keep those people covered, officials say the state would face additional costs of $1.5 billion a year.

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