ACA Repeal Would Leave 22 Million Uninsured
July 20, 2017
The latest CBO estimates for the Senate Obamacare repeal and replace bill, which has died, would leave 22 million more uninsured within the next 10 years. More news out of the Senate: Trump’s tax policy nominee was advanced out of Committee. Jobless claims continue to fall, which the Fed is anticipated to cite in raising rates in the coming months.
- CBO estimates 22 million would lose coverage under Senate’s most recent revision of ObamaCare replacement. Because the most recent revision of the ObamaCare replacement bill, the CBO estimates that 22 million people would lose health insurance coverage in the next ten years. Because the legislation retains two of ObamaCare’s taxes, the CBO estimates that deficits will be reduced by approximately $420 billion by 2026. The number of uninsured remains unchanged from the original draft, still far more than the uninsured rate under the ACA. Premiums would rise until 2020, when they would be 30% lower than under the current law, with the elderly still facing higher premiums than younger people. In their analysis, the CBO did not factor in an amendment added by Sen. Ted Cruz that would allow insurers to opt out of ObamaCare regulations as long as they also sell ObamaCare-compliant plans. Experts argue that the legislation cannot be measured accurately without Cruz’s amendment and will likely not be ready in time for the Senate vote next week. Instead, data from the Department of Health and Human Services is scheduled to be used, which states that the amendment would lower premiums, despite outside critiques. [The Hill]
- Senate panel advances Trump’s tax policy nominee. On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously to advance David Kautter, President Trump’s nominee for assistant secretary of the Treasury, to be sent to the full Senate. If confirmed, Kautter will play an important role in the administration’s efforts to overhaul the tax code. Kautter is the partner in charge of RSM, a tax and consulting service firm, and had previously worked at Ernst and Young for over 30 years. Democrats and Republicans both have high hopes that Kautter will work on tax reforms in a non-partisan manner. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. weekly jobless claims fall to near five-month low. The amount of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than predicted last week to its lowest level in five months. This indicates that strong job gains should continue to underpin economic growth. This sustained labor market strength should keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates for the third time and to start reducing its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, despite the recent flattening of inflation pressures. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 for the week ended July 15. This has been the lowest level since February when claims fell to 227,000. The labor market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at 4.4%. The four-week moving average of claims fell 2,250 to 243,750 last week. The economy created 222,000 jobs last month, the second biggest payrolls increase this year. [Reuters]
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey suggests positive but weaker growth. Manufacturing activity in the region continues to grow but at a slower pace, according to the July Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. Diffusion indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, employment, and work hours remained positive but fell from their readings in June. There is a moderation of price pressures, but firms remain optimistic about future growth. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased from 27.6 in June to 19.5 this month. The index has been positive for 12 consecutive months, but July’s reading is the lowest since November. Shipment index decreased 16 points, while new order index fell 24 points. [Philadelphia Federal Reserve]