Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
An opioid epidemic. High smoking rates. Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges. Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

How Much Weight Does The AHCA's CBO Score Carry? In Indiana, It Depends On Party

On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, released an updated report outlining potential effects of the updated GOP Obamacare "repeal and replace" bill, known as the American Health Care Act. The findings indicate that over the next ten years, 23 million Americans would lose insurance under the AHCA.

That's one million fewer than the projection for the first version of the AHCA, which failed in the U.S House in March. 

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody criticized the AHCA’s proposed Medicaid cuts, more than $850 billion, saying the cut “hurt seniors and nursing homes, children and individuals with disabilities just to give tax breaks to our nation’s highest earners.

Zody says the House—which OK’d the revised bill earlier this month—should have held the vote on the AHCA until after the revised CBO report was released. “They rushed the bill to the floor without a committee and limited amendments, and of course it was voted on in direct contradiction of their promises," he says.

But Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer says report or no report, a majority of Hoosiers are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.

“They knew it was bad for them, they knew it was bad for America, and so they voted on a President and Vice President that would repeal and replace.”

The report finds the AHCA would save the federal government $119 billion, compared with Obamacare. Hupfer says that’s a good thing.

“We’ve got to put a system in place that deals with the consumer aspect of this and drives costs down,” he says.

The new version of the AHCA could lower costs for younger, healthier people, but premiums would vary state to state. And states could elect to charge more for pre-existing conditions.

All seven Indiana Republican Party House members cast votes in favor of the legislation.