Medieval chemists thought they could turn ordinary metals into gold. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump claimed he could broaden health insurance, lower people’s out-of-pocket costs, and reduce federal spending, all at the same time. Scientific advancements showed the futility of alchemy. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has now shown that Trump’s health care hopes are also fantasy.
The CBO reported yesterday that the Congressional Republican health reform bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would achieve just one of Trump’s goals: It would lower federal spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. No surprise there—the bill would cut benefits and remove incentives that encourage people to get health insurance, and covering fewer people saves money. An estimated 4 million fewer people would have health insurance this year, rising to 14 million next year, and 24 million by 2024, according to the CBO.