I’ve been flipping through my dog-eared copy of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) June 26th analysis of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). The document has gotten coverage by the press, has been summarized through sound bites, and had had its key points extracted. All of this is helpful as are all eager to access the CBO assessment of how the proposed law could impact coverage, premiums, and the healthcare industry.
The BCRA analysis was longer than the versions of the AHCA, probably partly because it has a lot of comparing to do. And I’m not going to pretend that it is a light read.
That said, for the complexity of the topic, I find it to be amazingly accessible. The report is clear on which topics it is difficult to make assumptions around (such as how many and in what way states will pursue waiver opportunities) and where there are clear expectations (such as around impact to funding of Medicaid coverage).
The greatest thing I gather out of reading the CBO text is the dynamics between various provisions and their impact that these could have. This is especially helpful in applying the components of the law to various potential scenarios.
I've heard criticisms that the analysis both exaggerates and under-represents the impact of the law. Perhaps it does both. I hoped it would do more to consider the impact of medical bankruptcy on the economy. Who can make perfect guesses in such an uncertain world? But uncertainty isn't a reason to dismiss analysis grounded in fact and history.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to read the full text, I highly encourage you to do so…and reach out to share your thoughts!