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Report Says Republican Health Care Bill Leaves 51 Million Uninsured In 2026

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Congressional Budget Office says an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured in 2026 under the latest version of the House Republican health care bill.

That compares with 28 million under age 65 who would lack insurance that year under the current health law signed by President Barack Obama.

And it's only a tiny improvement from the original version of the House bill, which would have resulted in an estimated 52 million people under 65 uninsured by 2026, according to the nonpartisan budget office.

The CBO says the health care bill would leave 23 million additional people uninsured in 2026.

A new analysis by Congress' nonpartisan budget scorekeepers undermines claims by House Republicans that their health legislation protects people with pre-existing conditions.

Instead, the Congressional Budget Office "score" of the bill passed earlier this month says that in some cases, people with pre-existing conditions would not be able to purchase comprehensive health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, "if they could purchase it at all."

The information is in the so-called "score" released Wednesday of the legislation the House passed earlier this month. It's been eagerly awaited but shows little change on insurance coverage compared with the earlier version of the health bill, which collapsed.

The bill still contains almost $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy.

Health care legislation passed by House Republicans earlier this month would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over the next 10 years.

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says the reduction is mainly because the bill delays the repeal of the 0.9 percent payroll tax until 2023. The tax is applied to wages over $200,000 for an individual and over $250,000 for a married couple.

It was the budget office's first analysis of the bill that passed the House May 4 with only GOP votes.

Democrats have criticized Republicans for pushing people off coverage. Many Republicans have said their top goal is lowering premiums.

Senate Republicans have been holding closed-door meetings to try writing their own health care overhaul.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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