GOP health bill could slash $117 billion from Medicare fund, analysis shows

Share this content:

Medicare's trust fund could lose $117 billion in revenue over the next 10 years if the recently proposed Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act is passed into law, according to an analysis released Monday.

The Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the GOP's American Health Care Act found that tax cuts for high-income families and individuals could lead to an estimated $117 billion cut from Medicare's trust fund. That reduction would cause the program to become insolvent by 2025, instead of the previously predicted 2028, according to a report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Potential insolvency of Medicare could open the door for Republican lawmakers to attempt privatization of the program, Andy Slavitt, former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services acting administrator, said in an opinion piece published last week in The Washington Post.

“The bill would cut several years from the life of the Medicare trust fund, but that's clearly no accident: The program would wind up right where “entitlement hawks” such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) want it — in crisis,” Slavitt wrote. “If this bill became law, the speaker would finally be positioned to change Medicare to a voucher program.”

The CBO's analysis also estimates the American Health Care Act could leave 24 million more people uninsured, while lowering the deficit by over $300 billion. The Trump administration was quick to criticize the CBO's analysis, with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., slamming it as “just not believable” and noting that White House officials “disagree strenuously” with the report.