KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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CBO: Health Law Costs Rising, In Part Due To Medicaid Enrollment Numbers

The Congressional Budget Office noted that other provisions in the Affordable Care Act will keep it from adding to the long-term debt of the country, and it says the total cost is 25 percent less than expected when the legislation was signed six years ago.

The New York Times: Report Offers A Mixed View Of Health Care Law Costs
More people will be enrolled in Medicaid than predicted a year ago, fewer will be covered through the new public insurance marketplaces and the overall cost of insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be higher than expected last year, the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday. But the cost of insuring people will be substantially lower than the budget agency expected when the law was passed, on party-line votes, in 2010. It now estimates that the cost will total $465 billion in 2016-19, which is 25 percent less than its original estimate. (Pear, 3/24)

The Washington Post: Budget Scorekeeper: Obamacare Costs Rising As More Enroll In Medicaid
The budget office attributed the vast majority of the expected cost increase to greater-than-expected Medicaid enrollment numbers. Overall, CBO projected, the cost to the government of those enrolled in Medicaid and in the marketplaces created under the law will be $1.4 trillion over 10 years, which is $136 billion more than the scorekeeper previously expected. (Snell, 3/24)

The Hill: CBO: Cost Of ObamaCare Subsidies Climbs By 11 Percent
The cost is also going up by about $28 billion because of Congress's recent legislation that postponed what's called the "Cadillac tax," on high-cost insurance plans. That bill also made the tax deductible to employers, further decreasing the amount of money the Affordable Care Act pulls in. (Ferris, 3/24)

Modern Healthcare: Projected ACA Costs Rise By $136B Due To Robust Medicaid Enrollment
Between 2016 and 2025, the federal government will spend $1.34 trillion on the ACA's primary health coverage provisions. That mostly includes subsidies for the marketplaces and Medicaid expansion, and is partially offset by revenue-generating measures such as penalties tied to the individual and employer mandates. That total is up from the CBO's projection last March of $1.2 trillion but nearly identical to the $1.35 trillion estimate made in January 2015. The shift underscores how difficult it is for economists to predict the costs of a healthcare law that has evolved every year. (Herman, 3/24)

The Wall Street Journal: Enrollment In Health Law’s Exchanges Projected To Reach 12 Million In 2016
Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges is projected to reach about 12 million people in 2016, congressional budget analysts said in a report Thursday that illustrates the Obama administration’s ongoing challenge in getting the remaining uninsured covered. The projection, from the Congressional Budget Office and staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, was down from an estimate of 13 million in January and 21 million a year ago. (Armour, 3/24)

The Hill: CBO Trims Tally For ObamaCare Enrollment
The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday slightly lowered its projections for ObamaCare enrollment, trimming its tally by about 1 million people. About 12 million people are now expected to have ObamaCare coverage by the end of 2016, according to the nonpartisan budget office. Just three months ago, the office had predicted that 13 million people would have coverage. (Ferris, 3/24)

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