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Health Care / HEALTH CARE

CBO: Health Reform Less Costly After Court Ruling

photo of Meghan McCarthy
July 24, 2012

The health care law is $84 billion cheaper, and 4 million fewer Americans will get health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

The CBO offered a fresh analysis of the 10-year cost of the health reform law after the Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out of expanding Medicaid to low-income adult populations without losing all of their other federal Medicaid funds.

(RELATED: CBO Score Delivers No Big Wins)

 

CBO says this change will result in 6 million fewer people getting health insurance. But of those 6 million people, 2 million will now head to the insurance exchanges that are slated to be set up in each state by 2014.

Some Republicans have been arguing that, in light of the Supreme Court ruling, the cost of the law could increase because federal subsidies to help low-income people buy insurance on exchanges are more expensive than covering people on Medicaid. But the CBO analysis said the number of people who will lose Medicaid coverage will outweigh any additional costs.

“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 exchanges," CBO staff wrote.

The CBO also released a score of the latest House bill to repeal the law. CBO estimates that repeal would cost $109 billion over 10 years, a decrease of nearly $100 billion from earlier estimates of repeal legislation.

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