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It can be really difficult to specifically break out the specific cost of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), because it spans across multiple programs. The only good detail we have at this point is from the CBO, which issued its February 2014 baseline for the cost of the programs insurance coverage provisions on 4 February 2014, and only covers the period from 2014 through 2024:
From 2014 to 2024, spending for the ACA’s exchange subsidies, Medicaid, the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and tax credits for small employers who buy into the system is projected to increase by $2.404 trillion. However, the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) will get quite a lot of that money by taking it away from Medicare, particularly from the beneficiaries of Medicare Part C – the popular Medicare Advantage program. Most of that cost shifting will take place over the next five years.
These costs don’t even take the government’s administrative costs into account. In addition to spending however more billions it might take to The IRS will be spending more money to enforce Obamacare’s new and increased taxes, which the CBO indicates that from 2014 to 2024, will take an additional $1.528 trillion from Americans.
These will primarily be low-to-middle income earning Americans, with the tax bite hitting people with incomes between $20,000 and $40,000 particularly hard, as the following analysis from the Brookings Institution makes clear.
Of course, since the spending for Obamacare is greater than its taxes, the Affordable Care Act will add to the nation’s deficit and national debt perpetually into the future, which is main conclusion of the CBO’s analysis of the effects of the Affordable Care Act upon the federal government’s budget.
Does anyone else think that the CBO is staffed by irrepressible optimists?