CBO: ObamaCare Will Cost 20% Less Than We Thought
Revised estimates come in well under initial ones 5 years ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2015 8:55 AM CST
In this March 31, 2014, file photo, people sign up for the Affordable Care Act at Swope Health Services in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – When the CBO was crunching numbers back in 2010 on how much ObamaCare would cost the federal government, it came up with a figure of $710 billion for fiscal years 2015 to 2019. Yesterday, the agency cut that by 20% to $571 billion, reports the New York Times. CBO chief Douglas Elmendorf cited a general “slowdown in the growth of health care costs" as one reason, while the Hill reports that another factor is slower-than-expected enrollment. For example, about 12 million Americans will get coverage through the health care exchanges this year, below the CBO estimate of 13 million.

"The agencies still expect enrollment to grow rapidly over the next two years in response to increased outreach by state health agencies and others and to increased awareness of the individual mandate," says the report. "However, that growth is now anticipated to occur a little more gradually than it was previously." (The Supreme Court will weigh in on a crucial aspect of ObamaCare this term: whether the subsidies paid to low- and moderate-income Americans are lawful.)