The health care law will cut the deficit by $109 billion over the next decade and is $84 billion cheaper after a Supreme Court ruling gave states more flexibility to nix an expansion to Medicaid, the Congressional Budget Office said today.
The nonpartisan CBO updated its cost estimates for the health care law, and the estimates cheered Democrats, who have sparred repeatedly with Republicans over whether the law cuts or adds to the deficit.
The CBO predicted that 3 million fewer people will have health insurance under the law in 2022 after the high court’s decision. Repealing it would double the number of people without health insurance from 30 million to 60 million, the CBO projected.
The office projected that 6 million fewer people will sign up for Medicaid and 3 million more will sign up for federally subsidized insurance exchanges. The exchange subsidies cost the government about $9,000 a year versus $6,000 for Medicaid, the CBO said. On net, however, the government will save money because fewer people would be getting subsidized at all.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), checking his BlackBerry for the results at his press conference, said the reduction in the deficit backs up what Democrats have been saying since the law was enacted in 2010.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.