As many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage because of President Obama’s healthcare reform law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Thursday.
The figure represents the worst-case scenario, CBO says, and the law could just as well increase the number of people with employer-based coverage by 3 million in 2019.
The best estimate, subject to a “tremendous amount of uncertainty,” is that about 3 million to 5 million fewer people will obtain coverage through their employer each year from 2019 through 2022.
The new report adds more detail to this week’s update of the law’s coverage provisions, which CBO released Tuesday. Compared to a year ago, the law is now anticipated to cover 2 million fewer people but cost $50 billion less over 10 years, after factoring penalties paid by individuals and businesses that don’t get or provide healthcare coverage.
Republicans immediately responded after the new numbers came out because they appear to violate Obama’s pledge that people who like their health plans will be able to keep them. Last year, CBO’s best estimate was that only 1 million people would lose employer-sponsored coverage.
“President Obama’s string of empty promises is quickly becoming a disappointing trail of broken promises,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “He promised Americans that his overhaul of the health care sector would not jeopardize the health coverage of those who liked what they had. As nonpartisan analysts made clear today, millions of Americans will soon learn the hard way that Washington’s overreach into their health care decisions will result in sharp disruptions to their coverage and their care.”