Updated on May 24 at 5:51 p.m. ET
The House-passed Republican health-care bill would leave 23 million more people uninsured over a decade and could dramatically increase costs for people with preexisting conditions in many states, the Congressional Budget Office projected in a highly-anticipated analysis released Wednesday afternoon.
The new report is likely to exacerbate the political backlash against Republicans who voted for the party’s replacement for the Affordable Care Act without an updated estimate of its impact. It will also factor heavily into the deliberations on health care in the Senate, where Republicans decided to start from scratch rather than try to fix an unpopular House bill that many of them consider deeply flawed. The top-line numbers in the report from the nonpartisan congressional scorekeeper changed little from an earlier version of the American Health Care Act, which the CBO said would have resulted in 24 million fewer people having insurance after a decade and an initial increase in the cost of coverage premiums.
But that analysis did not account for several significant changes Republicans made to the bill in order to secure more votes, including amendments that weaken federal protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Once the GOP leadership locked in the 216 votes it needed for a majority, Speaker Paul Ryan did not want to risk losing support while waiting for a new CBO score—a highly unusual move for such far-reaching legislation and one that drew condemnation from Democrats and independent policy analysts.