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On enormous piles of money surrounded by many beautiful ladies

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Avik Roy ladies and gentlemen:

It’s likely that, if the Senate bill passes, more Americans will have health insurance five years from now than do today.

For reals? How do you figure . . . ?

The Congressional Budget Office believes that solely because Republicans would repeal the A.C.A.’s individual mandate, by 2026, more than 15 million fewer people will buy health insurance, regardless of what senators do to direct more financial assistance to the poor and the vulnerable. That’s not a flaw in the Senate bill; it’s a flaw in the C.B.O.’s methods.

The CBO estimates that 15 million fewer people will buy insurance, because the GOP’s bill will make it impossible for many millions of people to buy “health insurance” in any economically meaningful sense:

Under Obamacare, insurers cover a large portion of out-of-pocket costs for individuals making up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level — about $30,000 for an individual and $61,000 for a family of four. In exchange, the federal government reimburses them for the difference. The theory is that customers in this income range would otherwise struggle to benefit from a silver plan with deductibles of $7,500.

But the House and Senate bills each eliminate these cost-sharing provisions — and the effects would be dramatic, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. If you’re an individual making around $18,000 a year, your effective deductible would be about $255 under Obamacare. Under the Senate bill, though, that number would jump to over $6,000 — almost 24 times higher.

People who make $18,000 per year have an after-tax income of about $1,250 per month. Under the GOP plan, these people will be required to pay nearly half their total expendable income in deductibles, if they should make a poor lifestyle choice, like getting sick or injured, and then decide to try to get medical treatment.

So obviously they’re not going to buy fake “insurance” under these circumstances.

What Roy points out is that the CBO doesn’t take into account the possibility that the same party that is passing this bill might not subsequently create a bunch of subsidies that will make it rational for these people to buy health insurance. You know, like Obamacare currently does.

Don’t read the whole thing if you value either your sanity or your breakfast.

. . . I see Scott beat me to it.

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