After the July 2nd announcement of the unilaterally imposed, yearlong delay of ObamaCare’s employer mandate (the legality of which President Obama isn’t even bothering to act like he gives a flying fig about), House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, as is his wont, was quick to request some economic and fiscal estimates about exactly how much this sudden departure from the grand health-care overhaul plan is going to cost us all. The Congressional Budget Office released some of those numbers on Tuesday afternoon, and obviously, it ain’t free, via Reuters:
President Barack Obama’s decision to delay implementation of part of his healthcare reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday.
The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration’s unexpected one-year delay…
The analysts said the delay will add to the cost of “Obamacare’s” insurance-coverage provisions over the next 10 years. Penalties paid by employers would be lower and more individuals who otherwise might have had employer coverage will need federal insurance subsidies.
“Of those who would otherwise have obtained employment-based coverage, roughly half will be uninsured (in 2014),” CBO said in a July 30 letter to Representative Paul Ryan, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.
In a nutshell, the administration is going to lose the $10 billion or so in penalty payments that some employers would have had to make in 2015 for not providing coverage in 2014; and then they estimate another $3-ish billion in exchange subsidies will go to the half of the million employees they estimate would have gained coverage through employers next year who will now instead take out insurance through Medicaid or the exchanges (if they’re even operational by that point, that is). Ergo, and never mind that the CBO’s estimates have an unfortunate habit of turning out to be dreadfully wrong:
CBO now puts the net cost of Obamacare’s insurance coverage provisions at around $1.38 trillion over the next 10 years, vs. its May baseline projection of $1.36 trillion.
But hey, what’s $12 billion more in debt? Pfffft. Peanuts, am I right, guys?