Speed Reads

numbers don't lie (unless they do)

Bipartisan health-care fix doesn't fix much, CBO finds

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the bipartisan ObamaCare fix proposed by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) would do little to mitigate the negative impact that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate would have on health-care markets. The analysis comes as Senate Republicans try and rally support for a tax reform bill that is expected to kill that critical provision of the ACA.

The individual mandate has long been a target for Republicans as it keeps insurance costs low for some low-income and high-risk enrollees by forcing everyone to purchase health coverage. Murray and Alexander's Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act (BHCSA) aimed to prevent premiums from increasing in the event of the individual mandate's repeal by directly subsidizing health-care costs for low-income enrollees and ensuring states maintained minimum coverage requirements for health-care plans.

But unfortunately for Murray, Alexander, and the millions of Americans potentially affected by the bill, the CBO analysis ultimately found that the premium increases and coverage losses under the BHCSA "would not substantially change" what they found would happen even under Senate Republicans' failed "skinny repeal" of ObamaCare. Back to the drawing board?