CBO did have a smidgeon of good news for taxpayers. The tax credits for small businesses to help them to continue to offer health insurance to their employees will only cost about half as much as previously expected. But this is because the rules to qualify for the tax credit are too costly and too complex that CBO now believes lots of these small employers will give up trying to get the tax credit. It is easier and cheaper for them to cancel the insurance for their employees and pay the new mandatory fine instead.
There is another reason for the massive hike in the costs of Obamacare according to the CBO. This reason cracked a mirror used to distort the reality of its costs. It points out the failure of the stimulus bill to stimulate the economy as it was billed.
In the new CBO cost analysis, “the unemployment rate is higher throughout the projection period than it was in last year’s forecast. CBO also now estimates that wages and salaries will be lower than it previously anticipated.” That means that since the economy is so bad, Americans will be forced to receive health care differently than previously forecast with a good economy.
Thus, some people who would not be eligible to receive the subsidies from the exchanges are now expected to qualify in the worse economic environment. Further, some who would have received subsidies from the exchanges are now expected to qualify for Medicaid or CHIP in the worse economic environment.
With the dim economic prospects of more unemployment and lower salaries expected over the next decade, more people will be pushed into Medicaid and CHIP. This will cost those programs an additional $168 billion. Keep in mind that this is only the federal share that CBO scores. States will have to match those costs with even more of their own state tax dollars.
Remember that the official title of the Obamacare bill is the Affordable Care Act. Rather than attack any of the problems that are driving up the cost of providing health care in this county, Obamacare created a massive new bureaucracy that is making health care more costly and unaffordable for all. If you still have employer-provided health insurance, you’ve seen your rates increase significantly despite all the happy talk of the politicians.
Unfortunately for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the more we find out about the Obamacare bill, the less there is to like about this costly and intrusive mess.