ACA Costs Less Than Initially Estimated

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been controversial in a number of ways, and one of them revolved around money. Just how much was this health care reform going to cost a country already carrying a $1.4 trillion deficit?

Republicans, mostly opposed to Obamacare, have been saying that the law was going to end up costing the country more and should be repealed. Democrats, strongly in support, have been acting as if this new health care law is going to help with the large amount of debt the country has.

Well, the Democrats are closer to the truth, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the cost of insurance provisions in ACA. They’re closer, but they’re not exactly right either.

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation released new estimates of the budgetary effects of ACA’s health insurance coverage provisions that reveal they will cost the government less than initially expected.. The reports do not include the impact of other provisions of the law.

The projected net savings to the federal government resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision arise because the reductions in spending from lower Medicaid enrollment are expected to more than offset the increase in costs from greater participation in the newly established exchanges,” according to the report.

The update estimates that the insurance coverage provisions will have a net cost of $1.168 trillion from 2012 to 2022. That new number actually lowers the cost by $84 billion: a big number, but not big enough when you consider that our national deficit is $1.4 trillion.

While chipping away at the deficit is important, the drop is a mere 6%,” wrote Forbes’ tax columnist Kelly Phillips Erb. “Our debt is growing faster than that.”
Furthermore, the CBO estimated that the spending and revenue effects of the Repeal of the Obamacare Act (H.R. 6079), which was passed by the House on July 11, would increase the deficit by $109 billion.
“Specifically, we estimate that H.R. 6079 would reduce direct spending by $890 billion and reduce revenues by $1 trillion between 2013 and 2022, thus adding $109 billion to federal budget deficits over that period,” according to the report.
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