On Monday, March 13, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released an assessment on the impact of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The assessment evaluated the impact of the AHCA on the federal budget and on health insurance coverage for Americans. According to the CBO and JCT, the AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion from 2017 to 2026, but would also result in an estimated additional 24 million uninsured individuals by 2026. The CBO estimates that the AHCA would cause average premiums for single policy holders in the individual market to increase by 15 to 20 percent in 2018 and 2019 and begin to decrease by 2020.
On Thursday, March 16, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee approved the AHCA narrowly, by a 19-17 vote. The House Rules Committee will now consider the AHCA, which will then be sent to the full House for consideration.
On Thursday, President Trump also submitted a FY 2018 budget proposal to Congress that would decrease federal funding to the Department of Health and Human Services by 17.9 percent. In addition to decreased funding, the proposed budget would double the cost of fees charged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review and approve drugs and medical devices distributed in the U.S. According to the proposal, increased FDA review fees would assist with streamlining the FDA approval process. However, no details were provided on how the fees would be used to streamline the review process.