Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Congressional Budget Office: Obamacare costs $100 billion less than projected, still reduces budget deficits on net

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 2:09 PM

click to enlarge aca_projection.png

The new report 
from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act has a lower price tag than what the CBO projected in February, to the tune of $104 billion over the ten-year period 2015–2024. For 2014, the cost is now projected to be $5 billion less than what was projected in February. 

This is good news — and keep in mind these are the gross costs of expanding coverage. The CBO points out that "many other provisions, on net, are projected to reduce budget deficits." Based on the most recent comprehensive estimates, "the ACA's overall effect would be to reduce federal deficits."

The updated lower price tag comes despite the fact that the CBO projects an increase in the number of people getting insurance through the new marketplaces created by the law, up to 25 million from 24 million in the last projection. The difference is that premiums on the marketplaces came in lower than predicted, so the federal government has less to pay out to help folks who qualify for income-based subsidies purchase insurance on the marketplaces. The CBO projects that trend — premiums lower than initial projections — to continue in future years. 

The CBO has kept its projection that 6 million people will gain insurance through the marketplaces in 2014, though 7.5 million people have signed up. The difference is that the CBO projects some people who have coverage now won't necessarily keep it all year, for example because they get a job that offers insurance. Some also may never pay their first month's premium and never get covered even though they signed up. People will move on to the marketplace throughout the year too, for example if they lose a job that offered insurance. The CBO projects that the net effect will be about 6 million people covered by the marketplaces at any given time. 

Here's the big picture on coverage gains, counting not just the marketplaces but Medicaid expansion and other features of the law that impact coverage (yes, this includes plan cancellations that happened because of the ACA's requirements): 

12 million more nonelderly people will have health insurance in 2014 than would have had it in the absence of the ACA. ... 19 million more people will be insured in 2015, 25 million more will be insured in 2016, and 26 million more will be insured each year from 2017 through 2024 than would have been the case without the ACA. 

In short, the latest estimates from the CBO suggest that Obamacare will put a major dent in the uninsurance rate in this country, and will do so at a lower cost than previously projected. Projections like these should always be treated with caution, but the early returns indicate that the "TRAIN WRECK!!!" predictions were wrong. 



Tags: , , , , ,

Speaking of...

  • Community care for the old and disabled: Koch-heads say no!

    August 28, 2014
    A new federal program to support home care for the disabled and infirm is getting a spirited hearing at the legislature today. The Kochs and their legislative acolytes don't like it. Costs money. /more/
  • 'Why is Arkansas, of all states, becoming the Obamacare poster child?'

    August 27, 2014
    Arkansas is becoming a poster child for Obamacare. So why does just about every Republican running for office in Arkansas this year want to get rid of it. /more/
  • Legislature discusses merging teacher and state employee insurance, but won't touch separate retirement systems

    August 26, 2014
    Combining the insurance systems for public school employees and state employees might help teachers with premiums in the short run, but unless it's accompanied by a big infusion of cash it will harm state employees. As for combining retirement systems for teachers and other public workers? Not happening. /more/
  • The Obamacare open line

    August 23, 2014
    Tonight's open line includes news that Arkansas Democrats are rallying around bread-and-butter populist themes — an increase in the minimum wage and support for expansion of health care coverage. (Pssst: That last thing? Just don't call it Obamacare.) /more/
  • Obamacare and the Mark Pryor-Tom Cotton Senate race

    August 21, 2014
    Yesterday, Sen. Mark Pryor did something that got national attention: he released an ad that actually took credit for the benefits of Obamacare. Cotton's response was surprisingly muted. Could this be the latest sign that the Obamacare attack doesn't pack the punch it once did? One key question of the Arkansas Senate race will be what is more politically potent, the name "Obamacare" (which Cotton will repeat while dodging policy specifics) or the law's more popular component parts (which Pryor is beginning to highlight while avoiding actually naming the law). /more/
  • Mitt Romney endorses Tom Cotton

    August 21, 2014
    “This looks fun,” said former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as he looked at the press gathered for Romney’s endorsement this morning in North Little Rock of Rep. Tom Cotton, challenging Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate. Why Romney? The main point seemed to be reminding voters of the man who defeated Romney, President Barack Obama, who remains the focal point of Cotton’s campaign. /more/
  • Tom Cotton and the Republicans get desperate

    August 19, 2014
    Tom Cotton and Karl Rove and Co. are growing increasingly desperate and incoherent in attacks on Sen. Mark Pryor, who's proving not so easy to defeat as Republicans once believed. /more/
  • Is Obamacare losing steam as attack ammo?:

    August 19, 2014
    Is Obamacare losing steam as campaign material for Republicans in key Senate races? A new analysis shows a sharp drop in its use in TV ads, including in Arkansas. No wonder. Hard to argue with the positive results. /more/
  • Southern governors discuss efforts to contain health care costs

    August 17, 2014
    In addition to coverage expansion, there was much talk at the Southern Governors Conference on health care payment reform — Gov. Mike Beebe argued that while it has gotten less attention, the state's Payment Improvement Initiative is an equally important development in health care reform in the state. Beebe said he was "more convinced than ever that fee for service was an unsustainable model for the payment of health care in this country." /more/
  • Southern Governors Association talks private option

    August 16, 2014
    Gov. Mike Beebe, as well as governors from Maryland and Kentucky, discussed health care reform and the private option – the unique Arkansas version of Medicaid expansion – at a panel this morning at the Southern Governors Association meeting. Here are a few highlights, including the unique status of Arkansas and Kentucky, the possibility that the private option helped cut disability applications, and why Beebe thinks Arkansas got it right and Louisiana got it wrong. /more/
  • More »

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • Anais Mitchell comes to South on Main

    Also, Ben Kweller at Stickyz, Ben Nichols at Ron Robinson, Big Smo at Juanita's, The Kinfolks Soul Food Festival at the First Security Amphitheater, the Little Rock Touchdown Club and Sonny Burgess at Stickyz.
    • Aug 28, 2014
  • Visionary Arkansans 2014

    They make an impact in science, arts, social justice.
    • Aug 28, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation