The Latest Estimates for Obamacare from the Congressional Budget Office

Mar 25, 2016

 The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the nonpartisan federal budget scorekeeper, recently released its latest projections for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. (here) Because of at least 70 changes to the ACA, CBO estimates have been dealing with a moving target.

The original CBO budget in 2010 estimated the ACA would cost $940 billion over 10 years. The most recent estimate is now $1.4 trillion over 10 years, which is $136 billion more than last year’s estimate.

The CBO now projects 12 million people will enroll in the exchanges in 2016. One year ago, it estimated that 21 million would enroll in 2016. Looking out to 2018, the CBO projects that 18 million will be enrolled in the exchanges, which is down from its last estimate of 24 million.

The ACA expands Medicaid to any able-bodied adult age 18 or older. The CBO estimates that by 2026, 69 million people, or one in four Americans under the age of 65, will be enrolled in Medicaid.

For one reason or another, approximately 50 million Americans did not have health insurance when the ACA became law. The CBO now projects that 28 million people will still not have health insurance in 2026.

Based on these recent CBO estimates, the ACA is well over budget and has not been successful in enrolling people in the exchanges. Unfortunately, it has forced millions of low-income people into Medicaid, an extremely poor health insurance program. (here) The November elections will be critical in deciding the direction of the ACA. (here)