An independent analysis of Donald Trump and the Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, has found it would leave many millions of people without heath insurance.
The analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is similar to Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility, has estimated that 14 million more people would be uninsured next year under the legislation than under under the currently arrangement – a figure anticipated to rise to 24 million by 2026.
The findings will be a blow to Mr Trump’s administration, which has insisted that its plan to replace Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, will provide better and cheaper healthcare.
ObamaCare is imploding. It is a disaster and 2017 will be the worst year yet, by far! Republicans will come together and save the day.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2017
The news came on the day that Mr Trump said the Republican plan would “save the day”, despite independent analysis suggesting that millions of his supporters are set to lose out.
At a White House meeting with people affected by the Obama healthcare law, Mr Trump predicted that rates for health insurance will go “down, down, down” if Congress passes the new plan.
Mr Trump said that prices for coverage would come down and promised that Americans will be able to pick the coverage plan and the doctor they want. “We are not going to have one-size-fits-all,” Mr Trump said.
Analysis by the Los Angeles Times, however, had suggested that lower-income, older voters in conservative, rural parts of the country – the sort of people who overwhelmingly turned out for the New York tycoon – stand to lose the most.
The newspaper said among those hit the hardest under the proposed replacement would be 60-year-olds with annual incomes of $30,000, particularly in rural areas where healthcare costs are higher and Obamacare subsidies are greater.
In nearly 1,500 counties across the country, such individuals stand to lose more than $6,000 a year in federal insurance subsidies; 90 per cent of such counties backed Mr Trump, the newspaper’s investigation showed.
The conclusions by the non partisan CBO, which also said the plan would reduce the federal deficit by $337bn, follow other predictions that many could suffer.
The independent Kaiser Family Foundation said the bill will offer less help to Americans living in rural areas, the elderly and the poor.
Despite such predictions, Mr Trump’s health secretary has claimed “nobody will be worse off financially” under the Republicans’ plan.
Tom Price, a doctor who has long expressed a desire to scrap Obamacare, told NBC on Sunday: “I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through, understanding that they’ll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, not that the government forces them to buy.”
He added: “So there’s cost that needs to come down, and we believe we’re going to be able to do that through this system. There’s coverage that’s going to go up.”
As for Mr Trump, he has dismissed concerns over the plan, comparing Mr Obama’s healthcare law to the former president’s popularity.
Mr Trump, who has made clear he does not want the Republican plan to named after him, said of his predecessor: “When he left, people liked him. When he was here, people didn’t like him so much.”