Econintersect: The cost effects of the Supreme Court’s modification of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – aka Obamacare – into a State’s option is as uncertain as ever. A quote from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):
…. projections of the effects of the ACA, which are themselves highly uncertain. Assessing the effects of making broad changes in the nation’s health care and health insurance systems requires estimates of a broad array of technical, behavioral, and economic factors. Separating the incremental effects of the provisions in the ACA that affect spending for ongoing programs and revenue streams becomes more uncertain as the time since enactment grows. The recent Supreme Court decision that essentially made the expansion of the Medicaid program a state option has also increased the uncertainty of the estimates.
The CBO released two reports today on Obamacare – follow the hyperlinks to read the details:
Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision
Its bottom line:
CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of $1,168 billion over the 2012–2022 period—compared with $1,252 billion projected in March 2012 for that 11-year period—for a net reduction of $84 billion. (Those figures do not include the budgetary impact of other provisions of the ACA, which in the aggregate reduce budget deficits.) 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 newly established exchanges.
Letter to the Honorable John Boehner providing an estimate for H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act
Its bottom line:
Assuming that H.R. 6079 is enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2013, CBO and JCT estimate that, on balance, the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting that legislation would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013–2022 period. Specifically, we estimate that H.R. 6079 would reduce direct spending by $890 billion and reduce revenues by $1 trillion between 2013 and 2022, thus adding $109 billion to federal budget deficits over that period.
So there you have it, everything is uncertain but the CBO is certain that it will cost taxpayers more to not have Obamacare than have Obamacare. This is called certain uncertainty, or uncertain certainty, or to us blue collar Joes – simple horsecrap.