CBO: Delaying Individual Mandate Would Save $35B Over 10 Years
Delaying the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate by one year would cut the federal deficit by $35 billion over the next 10 years, according to a report released Friday by the Congressional Budget Office, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.
The report found that a delay would cut Medicaid spending by $17 billion over the next decade. It would also cut about $9 billion from the cost of federal subsidies to help low- and moderate-income U.S. residents purchase coverage (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 9/6). Further, the delay would increase federal revenues by about $7.4 billion.
However, the analysis also found that a delay would increase in the number of uninsured U.S. residents from about 44 million to 55 million because:
- Five million fewer people would enroll in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program;
- Four million fewer people would have access to employer-based health coverage; and
- Two million fewer people would receive coverage through the state insurance exchanges (Howell, Washington Times, 9/6).
Further, the report found that a delay would cause premiums to increase, but because federal subsidies would still be available for those choosing to purchase health coverage in the exchanges, "the market would not be subject to an unsustainable spiral of rising premiums" ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 9/6).
Under provisions set by the House Committee on Rules, the text of the employer mandate measure was added to the individual mandate bill upon passage in the House, allowing the Senate to hold a single vote on the legislation. However, it is unlikely to reach the floor in the Democratic-controlled Senate (California Healthline, 7/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.