Even if purported benefits from faster economic growth were factored in, the Trump health plan would still add about $270 billion in costs to the federal budget, the nonpartisan budget advocacy group said in an analysis.
"Mr. Trump's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare — based on the details available — would both add to the deficit and significantly reduce coverage," the group said.
The group did say that Trump's proposal to award Medicaid funds to state governments via block grants "could generate a wide range of savings" to the federal budget. But the analysis also noted that because "the Trump campaign has not provided any information on the size of their proposed block grants," it is "impossible to score any savings" for his plan.
However, the group did make several estimates for savings based on different scenarios for a Medicaid block-grant system, including indexing the grants to growing more slowly than the current law, indexing the grants to per-person gross domestic product and freezing the grants in nominal dollars.
"The amount of money this proposal would save (or cost) depends entirely on the size of that allotment, and how much it grows each year," the analysis said.
Under the most conservative scenario, the group said, moving to block grants could save the federal government no money at all. But under a more aggressive scenario, about $915 billion in Medicaid savings could be realized.
"If Mr. Trump intends to generate aggressive savings from block granting Medicaid, it could more than pay for the cost of repealing and replacing Obamacare — though perhaps at the cost of a further reduction in coverage," the analysis said.