CBO Scores the GOP Healthcare Bill as Labor and Trade Data Released
May 25, 2017
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has completed its summary of the revised GOP healthcare bill and found that it would leave 14 million more Americans uninsured in 2018 and as many as 23 million more without insurance in 2026. This as the Labor Department has found that the market is still strong, with jobless claims at their lowest levels since 1973. Trade data from April was also released, showing a widening deficit.
- CBO projects that GOP Health Bill will leave 23 Million more uninsured in a decade compared to ObamaCare. The GOP healthcare reform bill is projected to leave 14 million more people uninsured next year compared to the Affordable Care Act – and 23 million more in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday. In 2026, an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law. While the overall number of uninsured would be slightly lower, the deficits would be somewhat higher than the budget office estimated before Republican leaders made a series of changes to win enough votes for passage. The new House bill would reduce the federal budget deficits by $119 billion over a decade, less than the $150 billion in savings projected in late March. Insurance costs are projected to soar for consumers who are sick or have pre-existing conditions, while premiums would fall for the healthy, the new estimate concludes. Out-of-pocket spending on maternity care, mental health, and substance abuse services could increase by thousands of dollars, according to the CBO. In states that obtain waivers from certain health insurance mandates, premiums would vary significantly based on health status and types of benefits provided, the budget office reported. [NYTimes]
Economic Indicators & News
- Jobless claims increase slightly last week, still reflecting a strong labor market. Labor Department data showed Thursday that initial jobless benefit claim filings increased by 1,000 to 234,000 last week ending May 20. Despite the slight uptick in jobless claims, the average over the past month decreased to 235,250 from 241,000 in the prior week and is at its lowest level since 1973. This indicates that employers are choosing to retain rather than fire staff even amidst slower economic growth in the first quarter. [Bloomberg]
- U.S. trade gap widens in April. The trade deficit for goods widened in April and inventories sank, suggesting that an expected economic rebound in the second quarter may not be as significant as expected. The trade gap in goods – excluding services – widened to $67.6 billion in April from $65.1 billion in March, the government said in its advanced report. The full report will be released on June 2. While exports of goods fell in April, imports expanded in April, according to the government. The overall U.S. trade deficit in March totaled $43.7 billion. Wholesale inventories decreased 0.3% in April and retail inventories also decreased 0.3%, according to advanced data. [MarketWatch]