On the Eve of Supreme Court Oral Argument, Projected Costs for Obamacare Skyrocket

Numerous unexpected costs keep emerging from the behemoth Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (so-called Obamacare).  At last count, Obamacare would create 159 new federal programs, resulting in the hiring of thousands of new federal employees.  The IRS is demanding $400 million to finance 1,054 new tax examiners because, according to the IRS, Obamacare imposes “the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years, with more than 40 provisions that amend the tax laws.”  The federal mandates created by Obamacare, including the state health care exchanges will also require the hiring of thousands of new bureaucrats on the federal and state levels.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now estimates that the ten year cost of Obamacare will be $1.76 trillion, nearly double the promised $900 billion price tag given by the Obama Administration.   CBO anticipates revisions next year to the estimate.  Expectations are that the cost estimate will rise to in excess of $2 trillion.

Estimates are in the $500 billion range for IRS fees generated from non-compliance with Obamacare over the ten year period.  Costs of private insurance have already risen since last year and economists blame a part of that increase on actions taken by health insurers to reduce their risk of loss from the Obamacare ban on disallowance of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

In 2010, the CBO projected that Obamacare would produce certain perverse incentives in the employer sponsored health insurance market, causing an estimated 3 million people to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance by the end of the decade.  In its most recent report on projected costs and effects of Obamacare, CBO now estimates that the figure will actually be about 5 million people who will lose their employer-sponsored insurance by 2019.  Admitting to difficulty in predicting the precise number, CBO believes it possible that somewhere between 3 and 20 million people will lose their employer-sponsored health insurance by 2019.

Moreover, CBO estimates that a “substantial proportion [49%] of workers and their families who have employment-based health insurance in the absence of [Obamacare] will not be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, or significant exchange subsidies,” the primary sources of taxpayer funded insurance under Obamacare.  They will therefore join the ranks of the self-insured subject to the individual mandate compelling their purchase of health insurance at a cost of between $5,000 and $15,000 per year per person.

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