Health care

CBO report: ObamaCare replacement bill changes cut deficit reduction

The changes Republican leaders have proposed in their health care bill to win House votes have cut the measure's deficit reduction by more than half, according to Congressional nonpartisan budget analysts.

The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that the new version would reduce federal shortfalls by $150 billion over the next decade, which is $186 billion less than the original bill.

The deficit reduction figures dropped mostly because the updated measure has additional tax breaks and makes Medicaid benefits more generous for some older and disabled people.

"As a result of those amendments, this estimate shows smaller savings over the next 10 years than the estimate that CBO issued on March 13 for the reconciliation recommendations of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce," the CBO said. "The estimated effects on health insurance coverage and on premiums for health insurance are similar to those estimated for the committees’ recommendations."

The office said the updated legislation would still result in 14 million additional uninsured people next year and 24 million more in a decade.

Average premiums for people buying individual coverage would still rise over the next two years compared to current law, but then fall, according to the report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.