by Max Brantley
But the bad news is that the savings will come from the fact that more people will be uninsured because many states, driven by Republican legislators, say they won't accept better health coverage for their citizens, even if paid by the government.
Talking Points Memo reports on a new CBO report:
The Congressional Budget Office projects that the Supreme Court’s health care reform decision will leave 3 million people who would have otherwise been covered under the Affordable Care Act without insurance, but will reduce the 10-year price tag of the law by $84 billion. The new projections suggest that the GOP’s recently renewed effort to repeal the entire law would increase 10-year budget deficits by over $100 billion.
The court upheld the law’s core provisions late last month, but it also ruled that a provision requiring states to expand Medicaid eligibility up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line amounted to unconstitutional coercion — and effectively made the expansion optional.
As a result, CBO now estimates that, by 2022, six million fewer people will be enrolled in Medicaid than they projected before the Court’s decision. About half of those people will go without insurance, according to CBO, while the other half will enter Obamacare’s government-regulated insurance exchanges and receive federal subsidies to purchase private coverage.
The subsidies will cost the government $210 billion over 10 years — but the federal government will simultaneously save $289 billion thanks to reduced Medicaid spending. Combined with $5 billion in miscellaneous upward budgetary revisions, the net result is that the law is projected to cost $84 billion less than it was before the Court ruled.