The Pulse
12:00 am
Tue July 24, 2012

CBO Estimates Health Reform Will Cost Less Than Thought

The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have just released new estimates of what President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will cost, and the numbers are less than previously thought. From the CBO Director’s Blog:

“CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of $1,168 billion over the 2012–2022 period—compared with $1,252 billion projected in March 2012 for that 11-year period—for a net reduction of $84 billion. (Those figures do not include the budgetary impact of other provisions of the ACA, which in the aggregate reduce budget deficits.)” (emphasis mine)

The CBO also released an estimate of what it would cost if the ACA is repealed via H.R. 6079. That, it says, would add to the country’s deficit, not reduce it. Also from the Director’s blog:

“Assuming that H.R. 6079 is enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2013, CBO and JCT estimate that, on balance, the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting that legislation would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013–2022 period. 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.”

The new analyses come on the heels of the US Supreme Court decision to make the expansion of Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act, a state option, rather than a mandate.

Rhode Island is definitely taking that option.

As it turns out, expanding Medicaid may not simply be about saving money. It may have an impact on saving lives. I’ll have more on that tomorrow.

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