Statement from Richard Besser, MD, on CBO Score of Better Care Reconciliation Act

    • June 26, 2017

The following statement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of the Senate’s proposed legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act. The non-partisan estimate concludes 22 million people would lose coverage by 2026 under the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked for more than 40 years to ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable, high-quality health care.

Being able to obtain affordable health insurance matters, as researchers have shown time and again. The impact of having health insurance is proven. It’s a matter of life and death. Having health insurance affects financial security, the ability to receive care, reductions in chronic disease, and better health outcomes.

This bill puts the protections and peace of mind that come with comprehensive health insurance out of reach for millions of people—including children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. It rolls back expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which helped millions of people become insured. It shifts responsibility to cash-strapped states for covering health care for the poor. It turns the financial support that made health insurance affordable for millions of people into tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.  

Every member of Congress must weigh the policy of taking insurance from 22 million people. This bill would negatively affect the most vulnerable Americans regardless of where they live.

For the most vulnerable, expansion of insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act has been a lifeline to affordably accessing health care. Cutting a lifeline to affordable health care is a step in the wrong direction.

We recognize there are ways in which current policies could be improved and strengthened, and we look forward to working with others to ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable, high-quality health care.

–Richard Besser, MD
  President and CEO
  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


To connect with RWJF experts, grantees, or for new research on AHCA impact, tax credits, premiums, providers, and the health insurance marketplace, contact Jordan Reese, director of Media Relations, at 609-627-6322 or


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Jordan Reese

Director of Media Relations (609) 627-6322

Featured Content

State-by-State Coverage and Government Spending Implications of the BCRA and AHCA

Urban Institute research finds that 23.0 million more Americans could be uninsured by 2022 under the House-passed American Health Care Act and 24.7 million under the Senate-introduced Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Read the briefs