Obamacare’s most expensive provisions will cost about $9 billion less than expected, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
CBO said the law’s coverage provisions — a set of policies that includes the law’s insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion — will cost the federal government about $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
The latest analysis doesn’t cover the whole law, and CBO reiterated that it expects the law to reduce the federal deficit. Tuesday’s analysis was confined to the law’s coverage provisions, and didn’t include Medicare savings or new taxes on drug and medical-device companies, which offset the costs of expanding coverage.
The $1.5 trillion spending estimate is about $9 billion lower than estimates from last year, due in part to CBO’s estimate that roughly 1 million fewer people will obtain health insurance on the exchanges and 1 million fewer people will sign up for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, due to the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov.
Among CBO’s other justifications for lowering the cost are that insurance companies priced exchange premiums lower than the agency had anticipated, and that the agency now expects to receive more from insurance companies than it will pay out in a program designed to protect insurers who get a particularly unhealthy—and expensive—mix of enrollees.
CBO estimates that 24-25 million Americans will get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges and 12-13 million Americans will gain Medicaid or CHIP coverage. But some Americans—roughly 6-7 million—will lose their employer sponsored coverage, according to the projections, as some employers and employees choose instead to seek health insurance on the exchanges.
What We're Following See More »
U.S. District Judge William Orrick Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing part of an executive order calling for the end of federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision was followed by a scathing rebuke from the White House, a precedent-breaking activity which with this White House has had no qualms. A White House statement called the decision an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge." The statement was followed by an inaccurate Wednesday morning tweetstorm from Trump, which railed against the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While Judge Orrick district falls within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, Orrick himself does not serve on the Ninth Circuit.
"House Republicans are circulating the text of an amendment to their ObamaCare replacement bill that they believe could bring many conservatives on board. According to legislative text of the amendment," drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), "the measure would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal one of ObamaCare’s core protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Conservatives argue the provision drives up premiums for healthy people, but Democrats—and many more moderate Republicans—warn it would spark a return to the days when insurance companies could charge sick people exorbitantly high premiums."
President Trump on Wednesday "will order a review of national monuments created over the past 20 years with an aim toward rescinding or resizing some of them—part of a broader push to reopen areas to drilling, mining, and other development." Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on Tuesday said he'd be reviewing about 30 monuments.
"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.