March 13, 2017

Statement on the CBO Cost Estimate of the American Health Care Act,
by Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center

New York, NY—Today the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its highly anticipated analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and what its passage would mean for American families. The CBO estimate bears out our worst fears24 million people would lose health coverage over the next decade.

Today’s report affirms that older adults will be among those hardest hit by the proposal. If AHCA becomes law, the number of uninsured would increase most significantly among low-income Americans ages 50 to 64. CBO finds that individual market premiums would spike for this very same group as a result of an “age tax” that would allow insurers to charge five times more for older enrollees than for younger ones.

Additionally, CBO estimates that AHCA will increase Medicare spending by $43 billion over ten years. A separate analysis on AHCA by the Joint Committee on Taxation also finds that the repeal of a modest payroll tax on the wealthiest Americans amounts to a $117.3 billion windfall, effectively weakening Medicare.

Today’s CBO score confirms it: AHCA forces older adults, people with disabilities, and their families to pay more for less, all while undermining the Medicare guarantee. If Congressional leaders truly want to provide health coverage to American families, they must go back to the drawing board.

For more information on the Medicare program and proposals under consideration by Congress to change it, visit the Medicare Rights Center’s “Protect and Strengthen” webpage at

Contact: Deane Beebe – – 212-204-6248

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

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