‘Full Repeal Would Cover More People Than ObamaCare-Lite’

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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One million more Americans would have health coverage if President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans fully repeal Obamacare, instead of pushing for the American Health Care Act, which some are labeling, “ObamaCare-Lite.”

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted in January that a complete repeal of Obamacare would leave 23 million Americans without health insurance by 2026. In response to the platform-the American Health Care Act-put forth by Health Secretary Tom Price and Speaker Paul Ryan, the CBO revised its predictions Monday, with new estimates suggesting that some 24 million people will go without coverage by 2026 under the new platform. (RELATED: Clinton Counties Stand To Gain More From TrumpCare Than Trump Counties)

Essentially, “a full repeal would cover more people than ObamaCare-Lite,” Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian CATO institute, concludes from the CBO report.

Another problem currently surfacing about the proposed bill is its tax cuts. Obamacare supporters claim that the tax cuts that unduly benefit the wealthiest Americans, leaving behind those that need tax relief most: middle to low-income families.

The American Health Act rolls back two key taxes imposed in 2010 to keep Obamacare solvent: a 0.9 percent Medicare tax on wages and a 3.8 percent tax on capital gains and other investment income. Repealing both taxes is estimated to cut the total tax burden on Americans by about $274 billion over the next decade.

Arguably both taxes impact the wealthiest Americans far more so than those in the middle to low-income brackets, because many of those households aren’t making large amounts of income on investments and have substantially lower wages. Still, the bulk of those tax cuts benefit the wealthiest households, at a rate of 5 to 1, according to a report out of The Tax Policy Center. Some 60 percent of the total sum will reportedly go to those with incomes over $1 million a year or more.

Ryan seems content with the current state of the legislation, even in the face of some less-than-stellar projections by the CBO Monday. Speaking on Fox News’ “Special Report with Brett Baier,” Ryan said Monday’s projections “exceeded my expectations.”

Ryan said that his bill will work by lowering “premiums 10 percent,” and stabilizing “the market.” The speaker says to think of the legislation as a “$1.2 trillion spending cut, and $883 billion tax cut and $337 billion in deficit reduction,” Ryan said. “This compared to the status quo is far better,” Ryan quipped.

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