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Monday, June 15, 2009

CBO: Kennedy's Health Care Bill Would Increase Deficit by $1.0 Trillion from 2010-2019

The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation staff released this evening (PDF) a "preliminary analysis" of Title I of the draft of the Affordable Health Choices Act, which was created by Democrats on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

The CBO/Joint Committee conclude:
...According to our preliminary assessment, enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of about $1.0 trillion over the 2010-2019 period. When fully implemented, about 39 million individuals would obtain coverage through the new insurance exchanges. At the same time, the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million or 17 million.

These new figures do not represent a formal or complete cost estimate for the draft legislation, for several reasons. The estimates provided do not address the entire bill—only the major provisions related to health insurance coverage. Some details have not been estimated yet, and the draft legislation has not been fully reviewed. Also, because expanded eligibility for the Medicaid program may be added at a later date, those figures are not likely to represent the impact that more comprehensive proposals—which might include a significant expansion of Medicaid or other options for subsidizing coverage for those with income below 150 percent of the federal poverty level—would have both on the federal budget and on the extent of insurance coverage...
The price tag is obviously the big news in this item, but the CBO/Joint Committee estimate that 15 million people would lose their employer-provided health insurance deserves some note.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:55 PM

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