CBO: Deductibles Under Republican Health Plan Would Hit $13,000

CBO has produced an analysis of the latest Senate health care bill, and it’s basically the same as the original version. Compared to Obamacare, it would leave 22 million more people uninsured, and the people who were insured would mostly be getting useless crap:

Under this legislation, for a single policyholder purchasing an illustrative benchmark plan (with an actuarial value of 58 percent) in 2026, the deductible for medical and drug expenses combined would be roughly $13,000, the agencies estimate….Because a deductible of $13,000 would be a large share of their income, many people with low income would not purchase any plan even if it had very low premiums….For people whose income was at 175 percent of the FPL ($26,500) and 375 percent of the FPL ($56,800), the deductible would constitute about a half and a quarter of their income, respectively.

Under current law in 2026, the deductible for a single policyholder purchasing an illustrative benchmark plan with an actuarial value of 70 percent would be much lower—roughly $5,000.

People have—rightly—complained about the big deductibles in many Obamacare plans. But this is ridiculous. A health care policy with a deductible of $13,000 is all but useless.

On another note, CBO has been criticized for overemphasizing the importance of the individual mandate. If you eliminated it, would 15 million people really decide not to buy insurance? I suspect that if you left everything else alone, that 15 million estimate might well be high. But if you combine the lack of a legal mandate with useless insurance, 15 million starts to seem a lot more reasonable, doesn’t it?

By the way, this report doesn’t include the Cruz Amendment. I assume that’s still in the works. Until the Republican health care plan is officially dead and buried, CBO is the real zombie here.