Repealing ObamaCare mandate means millions fewer insured: CBO

Repealing ObamaCare mandate means millions fewer insured: CBO
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Repealing ObamaCare's individual mandate would lead to 4 million more uninsured Americans by 2019 and 13 million by 2027, a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said, coming as some Republicans favor repealing the requirement as part of their tax overhaul.

The nonpartisan budget office also said a repeal would save $338 billion over 10 years.

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It comes after Republicans failed to repeal the health law and have moved on to their bid to rewrite the tax code. But some in the GOP are pushing hard to include repeal of the fee for forgoing health coverage to help fund tax cuts.

A prior CBO analysis, from December 2016, pegged the savings at $416 million and projected 16 million people would be uninsured by 2026.

Getting rid of the individual mandate means fewer people with health insurance. That means fewer subsidies the government will pay to help people afford their ObamaCare health plans, and thus, savings.

Premiums in the individual insurance market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade, CBO concluded, because repealing the mandate means less healthy people will buy insurance.

That would leave sicker, older people to share the costs in the market, resulting in higher premiums.

The move wouldn’t throw chaos into the marketplaces, as CBO predicts individual insurance markets would remain stable in most areas.

The analysis was predicated on the notion that there weren’t any other changes made to ObamaCare.

CBO notes that the agencies are working to change their methods on estimating repealing the individual mandate, but “because that work is not complete and significant changes to the individual mandate are now being considered as part of the budget reconciliation process, the agencies are publishing this update without incorporating major changes to their analytical methods.”