U.S. economists express strong opposition to Senate healthcare bill

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-27 06:51:16|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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WASHINGTON, June 26 (Xinhua) -- A group of over 40 U.S. economists, including six Nobel Prize winners, on Monday expressed strong opposition to the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Obama administration's highly controversial healthcare revamp, known as Obamacare.

"The Senate bill would narrow coverage, and by driving relatively healthy people from the market, raise premiums for those who remain," the economists wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

The economists believed that the Senate bill would reduce coverage nearly as much as the House-passed bill, which would result in about 23 million fewer Americans having insurance in a decade.

"At a time when economic change is making life more difficult for all but the relatively well-to-do, denying people to access health insurance is a giant step in the wrong direction," they argued.

The economists also said the Senate bill will expose millions to increased out-of-pocket health care costs and will reduce assistance for the millions of people who buy coverage through the state and federal marketplaces.

"We call on Congress to work on legislation to improve the health delivery system......the goal should be to hold down health costs and increase access to affordable, quality health coverage for all," they said.

Nobel Prize-winning economists Peter Diamond, Oliver Hart, Daniel Kahneman, Eric Maskin, Daniel McFadden and Al Roth signed on to the letter with more than 30 other economists.

The economists' strong opposition comes as the Senate is planning to vote on the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare this week.

Five Senate Republicans have said they will not support the legislation, and the entire Democratic Party is also expected to stand against the bill. That means the Republicans can only lose support of two lawmakers in the Senate to pass the bill, according to experts.