How Much Would It Cost to Repeal Health Care Reform?

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Republicans have released their health-care repeal bill—snappily titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”—which the party has now scheduled for a vote on January 12. The bill would repeal every part of the Affordable Care Act except for an overhaul of the student loan industry.

One thing the bill won’t include, however, is a price tag. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that health care reform would save an estimated $143 billion over the next 10 years. According to that figure, repealing the law would add the same amount to the deficit. Republicans, however, have dismissed the CBO’s estimates, arguing that Democrats have gamed the number by front-loading the legislation with savings in the first decade and that the law would cost taxpayers in the long run. As a result, they’ve refused to let the CBO score their repeal bill.

Democrats, in the meantime, have backed off their line that health care reform will save the country money—not because of the substance of their argument, but  because it hasn’t proven politically popular with voters, according to Politico. So Democrats have basically conceded that Republicans have won the message war when it comes to the price tag of health reform, and taxpayers have little way of confirming exactly how much the GOP repeal effort could end up costing them.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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