CBO: GOP Health Bill Wouldn't Increase % Covered
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 06:55:53 PM EST
Not a huge surprise, but the Republicans' healthcare amendment would do literally nothing to decrease the percentage of Americans without coverage, per the CBO (.pdf):
By 2019, CBO and JCT estimate, the number of nonelderly people without health insurance would be reduced by about 3 million relative to current law, leaving about 52 million nonelderly residents uninsured. The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, roughly in line with the current share. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the amendment's insurance coverage provisions would increase deficits by $8 billion over the 2010-2019 period. [emphasis added]
I suppose the Republicans might try to argue that their proposal succeeds at stemming the growth in the uninsured, so to that extent at least their proposal doesn't do nothing. But it doesn't do much more than nothing.
According to polling from Bloomberg news, 61 percent of Americans believe it to be "critically important" to "[f]ind a way for those who are currently uninsured to get health insurance coverage," a goal just 8 percent believe to be not that important or a bad idea.
If the Republicans believe it to be good politics to line themselves up with the minority of Americans disfavoring efforts to decrease the proportion of uninsured in this country, then by golly they've struck gold. But if they were hoping to present some sort of alternative to the Democrats' efforts at healthcare reform, something that anyone -- whether Beltway pundits or voters around the nation -- could have taken at least somewhat seriously, they have more or less failed.