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 »
The Senate voted on Wednesday 72-26 on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9, averting a looming shutdown. The legislation will now go to the House, where it could be voted on as early as Wednesday. After this legislation is approved by the House, Congress will recess until the lame-duck session following elections.
"Congress voted Wednesday to override President Obama for the first time in his eight-year tenure, as the House followed the Senate in rejecting a veto of legislation allowing families of terrorist victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The House easily cleared the two-thirds threshold to push back against the veto. The final tally was 348-77, with 18 Republicans and 59 Democrats voting no."
Hyperbole alert! Following the Senate's decision to override President Obama's veto of a bill that would allow 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. court, the White House has responded forcefully, specifically White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. "I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983," Earnest said on Air Force One. The House is likely to follow suit in overriding Obama's veto when it takes up the vote.
Two weeks after a massive stroke, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president and prime minister of Israel Shimon Peres passed away late Tuesday night. In a political, military, and diplomatic career that lasted nearly 70 years, Peres was influential both in building up the formidable strength of the Israeli military and in seeking to negotiate lasting peace with Israel's many neighboring Arab countries. Within hours of the announcement of his death, both condolences and tributes began pouring in, including from former President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair.