Budget office: Obama's health law reduces deficit
In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Will President Barack Obama’s health care law increase the government’s huge deficit or reduce it? How many people will it really cover? How much will it cost taxpapers? Congress’ nonpartisan budget scorekeepers release their findings, the first in-depth look at the law since the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
(AP) President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will shrink rather than increase America's huge federal deficits over the next decade, Congress' nonpartisan budget scorekeepers said Tuesday, supporting Obama's contention in a major election-year dispute with Republicans.
About 3 million fewer uninsured people will gain health coverage because of last month's Supreme Court ruling granting states more leeway to opt out, and that will cut the federal costs by $84 billion, the Congressional Budget Office said in the biggest changes from earlier estimates.
Republicans have insisted that "Obamacare" will actually raise deficits by "trillions," according to presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But that's not so, the budget office said.
The office gave no updated estimate for total deficit reductions from the law, approved by Congress and signed by Obama in 2010. But it did estimate that Republican legislation to repeal the overhaul passed recently by the House would itself boost the deficit by $109 billion from 2013 to 2022.
"Repealing the (health care law) will lead to an increase in budget deficits over the coming decade, though a smaller one than previously reported," budget office director Douglas Elmendorf said in a letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
The law's mix of spending cuts and tax increases would more than offset new spending to cover uninsured people, Elmendorf explained.
Tuesday's budget projections were the first since the Supreme Court upheld most of the law last month but gave states the option of rejecting a planned expansion of federal Medicaid coverage for their low-income residents. As a consequence, the budget office said the law will cover fewer uninsured people.
President Barack Obama waves upon his arrival, Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at the 142nd Fighter Wing Oregon Air National Guard Base, in Portland, Ore. President Barack Obama has arrived in Oregon to raise money for his re-election campaign. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Thirty million uninsured people will be covered by 2022, or about 3 million fewer than projected this spring before the court ruling, the report said.
As a result, taxpayers will save about $84 billion from 2012 to 2022. That brings the total cost of expanding coverage down to $1.2 trillion, from about $1.3 trillion in the previous estimate.
The Congressional Budget Office has consistently projected that Obama's overhaul will reduce the deficit.
When the health care law is fully in effect, 92 percent of U.S. citizens and legal residents are estimated to have coverage, as compared to 81 percent now.
Democrats hailed Tuesday's estimates as vindication for the president. "This confirms what we've been saying all along: the Affordable Care Act saves lots of money," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Republicans said they remain unswervingly committed to repealing what they dismiss as "Obamacare." Romney says if elected he will begin to dismantle the law his first day in office.
In this Feb. 17, 2012 file photo, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. David Camp, R-Mich. walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Will President Barack Obama’s health care law increase the government’s huge deficit or reduce it? How many people will it really cover? How much will it cost taxpapers? Congress’ nonpartisan budget scorekeepers release their findings, the first in-depth look at the law since the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)Medicaid has been one big question hanging over the future of Obama's law since the Supreme Court ruled.
Some Repubican-led states, such as Texas and Florida, say they will not go forward with the expansion. Others are uncommitted, awaiting the voters' verdict on Obama in November.
Although the federal government would bear all of the initial cost of that expansion, many states would have to open their Medicaid programs to low-income childless adults for the first time.
CBO analysts did not try to predict which specific states would jump in and which would turn down the Medicaid expansion. Instead, they assumed that many states would eventually cut deals with the federal government to expand their programs to some degree.
The big coverage expansion under the law doesn't start until 2014, with middle-class uninsured people signing up for subsidized private plans and more low-income people picked up through Medicaid.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- US high court upholds heart of Obama health law Jun 27, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Gov. Perry says Texas won't expand Medicaid Jul 10, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Top US court to announce fate of Obama health plan Jun 28, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- US appeals court upholds Obama's health care law Jun 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- US High court upholds key part of Obama health law Jun 28, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Animals make great companions for senior citizens, but elderly people who always drive with a pet in the car are far more likely to crash than those who never drive with a pet, researchers have ...
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 1
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
21 hours ago | 5 / 5 (6) | 5
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
21 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
May 20, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (31) | 9 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
May 22, 2013 | 4.3 / 5 (6) | 6 |
Salamanders' immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have ...
May 20, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 5 |
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0