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June 18, 2014

You're Not Going to Believe This, But Obamacare Is Going to Cost Taxpayers a Lot More Than Projected

@benk84 linked this in the Morning Dump, but it seems worth its own post.

The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans who bought health coverage on the federal government’s healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums.

90% received subsidies -- so much for the "young, healthy" enrollees who would be overpaying into the system and thus keeping overall costs down.

That assistance helped lower premiums for consumers who bought health coverage on the federal marketplaces by 76% on average, according to the new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

...


The report suggests that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought health plans on marketplaces run by the federal government, even accounting for the fact that many consumers signed up for coverage in late March and will only receive subsidies for part of the year.

In addition, subsidies were provided to an additional eight million who signed up via the state exchanges -- and the government claims it has no data on these costs. (Somehow it's paying out billions of dollars without bothering to track the sums going out the door.) But I'm going to guess that we're talking another $7-$10 billion in unacknowledged costs, in addition to the $10 billion the government acknowledges.

...

That would be far higher than projections this spring from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that the 2014 subsidies would cost the federal government $10 billion....

Unexpectedly.

Although the law’s costs have thus far been lower than projected, some experts question whether the subsidies will be sustainable.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in April that the annual cost of subsidies will rise to $23 billion next year and $95 billion in 2024, although the budget office continued to project that all the law’s costs will be offset by additional revenue it raises and by cuts in other federal healthcare spending.

Oh the guys who have consistently underestimated the cost of Obamacare say that the costs will be lower than they're estimating.

So let's recap:

If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Lie.

The average family's health insurance costs will fall by $2500 per year. Lie. The average cost for someone actually paying for insurance will increase by $2500 per year -- and some families actually pay $10,000 or more, every year.

The program will cost $9-10 billion per year. Lie. It will cost at least double that, possibly 250% of that false estimate. Maybe -- probably -- more than that.

So, in short, the plan is working precisely as designed, though not as advertised.



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posted by Ace at 12:56 PM

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