CBO: ACA Repeal Would Cost $353 Billion

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would increase budget deficits by $353 billion over the next decade, according to a new report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) last week. This is a significant increase over the last estimated cost of repeal using traditional scoring practices conducted 2012, which found that repeal of the law would only cost $109 billion. The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) also conduced a dynamic score to estimate what repeal of the ACA would cost taking into consideration the macroeconomic effects of the law, and found that the national debt would increase by $137 billion over the next ten years. This projection is the first dynamic cost estimate conducted by the CBO and JCT since new congressional rules requiring the dynamic scoring of major legislation took effect earlier this year. CBO found that in the decade after 2025, repeal would increase the deficit by 1 percent of GDP. The report estimates that 19 million people would lose health insurance in this scenario in 2016, and an additional 24 million people would lose coverage between 2021 to 2025. The report also asserts that ACA repeal would be hard to execute, and outlines the major challenges and complications repeal would entail. The new CBO estimate will make any Republican plan to use reconciliation to repeal the health care law even more difficult, because the Republican written reconciliation instructions require any measure moved using reconciliation to reduce the deficit.

Upcoming Congressional Meetings and Hearings

Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee: markup of draft fiscal 2016 appropriations for programs under its jurisdiction; 3:00 p.m., 128 Dirksen Bldg.; June 23

House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee: hearing on public health legislation, including HR 1344 — A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize a program for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns, infants, and young children; HR 1462 — Protecting Our Infants Act; and HR 2820 — The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act (official title to be confirmed;) 10:15 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Bldg.; June 23

House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee: hearing titled “Examining the Administration’s-Approval of Medicaid Demonstration Projects;” 10:00 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Bldg.; June 24

House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee: hearing on rising health insurance premiums under Obamacare; 10:00 a.m., 1100 Longworth Bldg.; June 24

House Veterans Affairs Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee: hearing on pending legislation, including the following health bill: H.R. 2214 - A bill to improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with private physicians to conduct medical disability examinations; 2:00 p.m., 334 Cannon Bldg.; June 24

Health Legislation Recently Introduced

S. 1574 (COMMUNITY CARE), to amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to establish a community care wrap-around support demonstration program, a pilot project on services for recipients of federally assisted housing, and a national campaign to raise awareness of the aging network and to promote advance integrated long-term care planning, and for other purposes; MERKLEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; June 15

S. 1588 (MENTAL HEALTH), to amend the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend projects relating to children and violence to provide access to school-based comprehensive mental health programs; FRANKEN; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; June 16

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 -  2018