9 Years After Obamacare Passed, Agency Finds Numbers Were Wildly Off

Nov 2014
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Once again the useless CBO shows their partisan politics. They need to change the way they analyze and operate or be disbanded

9 Years After Obamacare Passed, Agency Finds Numbers Were Wildly Off

Democrats defeated Republicans in the Obamacare repeal fight by warning that 22 million Americans would be thrown off their health insurance. They pointed to data leaked from the Congressional Budget Office.
Well, it turns out that data was completely wrong.
According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office wildly overestimated the number of people who would lose their health insurance with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.
Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office said 14 million would drop off their health insurance coverage due to the elimination of the individual mandate. Then, during the height of the 2017 debate over repeal, progressives touted a leaked number from the Congressional Budget Office claiming that 22 million people would “lose” their insurance if Congress repealed the law.

However, as health care analyst Avik Roy pointed out, what made this number so high was the inflated number of people expected to lose their insurance due to repeal of the mandate—about 73 percent to be exact. So, it wouldn’t be 22 million Americans losing their insurance. Most of those in the projection would simply be choosing to opt out of insurance.
And it turns out even that wasn’t true. A far smaller number of Americans appear to be opting out of insurance since the individual mandate’s repeal. Only 2.5 million more people are expected to go without insurance in 2019 due to its repeal, according to the latest report, and that number is expected to decline in the years ahead.
The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein called the Congressional Budget Office “scandalously off in its estimates.” That’s about right, considering all that was riding on its numbers.
As Klein noted, the Congressional Budget Office estimates were a large part of why the individual mandate was adopted in the first place, and a big reason why its repeal didn’t pass. So it’s a wonder why the media isn’t picking this up.
 

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