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Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Health | 5 comments

CBO Shows ObamaCare Costing Less Than Projected–Ignore Conservative Attempts To Distort The Data

There was more good news from the Congressional Budget Office today regarding the Affordable Care Act. The latest’s estimates significantly reduce the costs of expanding medical care under the law:[icopyright one button toolbar]

 The Congressional Budget Office on Monday significantly lowered its estimate of the cost of providing health insurance coverage to millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

Douglas W. Elmendorf, the director of the budget office, said the changes resulted from many factors, including a general “slowdown in the growth of health care costs” and lower projections of insurance premiums that are subsidized by the federal government.

In March 2010, when President Obama signed the health care law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the expansion of coverage would cost the federal government $710 billion in the fiscal years 2015 through 2019, Mr. Elmendorf said.

“The newest projections indicate that those provisions will cost $571 billion over that same period, a reduction of 20 percent,” he said. The Affordable Care Act not only subsidized the purchase of private insurance, but also authorized a major expansion of Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income people.

As usual, conservatives are cherry picking and distorting the numbers to portray this as a negative. Among other distortions of the facts, they fail to take into account the fact that having a substantial portion of the country be uninsured results in higher costs for both government programs, as well as costs which are passed on to those who do pay for insurance. The bottom line is that, even before these more favorable numbers, the CBO found that the Affordable Care Act results in a reduction in the deficit. Strange that conservatives who place such a high priority on reducing the deficit (which was run up by Republicans during the Bush years) oppose a program which will help reduce the deficit.

Of course if conservatives are unhappy with the cost of the Affordable Care Act, they should keep in mind the fact that costs are much higher due than they otherwise might be due to providing coverage through private insurance companies rather than through a single-payer system modeled on Medicare. Somehow I doubt many conservatives would go for the far more cost effective single-payer model.

Conservatives are also attacking the law because, while reducing the number of uninsured by 27 million people, there will still be 31 million uninsured in 2025. However, when looking at who will remain uninsured, I wonder which group conservatives are complaining about. Of this 31 million, 30 percent are illegal aliens and conservatives would sure protest if health care coverage were extended to them. Another 1o percent are ineligible for coverage because of living in states which did not expand Medicaid–a decision which conservatives support. The remainder are people who will qualify for coverage but choose not to purchase it.

The number of uninsured might fall as more red states go along with the expanded Medicaid program. It was just announced that Indiana is the latest to offer the expanded Medicaid program.

Originally posted at Liberal Values

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  • Slamfu

    I think the Dems should start pushing for single payer now. Be nice to see the left move the goalposts for a change. Also, single payer would be nice to have. What gets me is why business people aren’t for it. Healthcare is a huge cost to businesses, and to have to not worry about it would be great for anyone’s bottom line, especially small businesses.

    • At very least Democrats should point out that there are other options to the left of the Affordable Care Act, and that the ACA is hardly a radical leftist government take over of health care (and actually closer to an old Republican position.)

    • Rambie

      I’d love to see it! That’d require the Democrats to take the initiative and have a backbone, something the party seems to lack.

    • Tom Zarek

      My Republican friend believes this was the plan all along, That the ACA is designed to lead to single payer. All I could say is I hope so.

  • ReadMyLips88

    Nice spin. Unfortunately, all the savings noted comes from a far fewer estimate of people insured (27M, down from 34M), i.e. less subsidies due to far more people not having coverage. That isn’t a sign of success for the PPACA.

    Also, note that the per-person estimates for subsidies have risen 7% since 2011, so costs are accelerating, not decreasing. We the sheeple don’t notice because our leaders and our media tout the total amount to be lower. Bad marks all around.

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