CBO: Court ruling cut health law cost
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s signature health-care initiative will cost a bit less than expected as a result of last month’s Supreme Court ruling, but the decision also is likely to leave millions more people without access to insurance, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.
In its June 28 ruling, the court upheld the bulk of the Affordable Care Act, but struck down a plan to require states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover residents who earn as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
As a result, analysts at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expect that some states will refuse to expand their Medicaid programs or will delay expansion until after 2014, when most other provisions of the law are scheduled to take effect.
In those states, people who earn between 100 percent and 138 percent of the poverty level will have the option to receive government subsidies to help them buy private insurance on newly created exchanges. But those who earn less than the full poverty level could be left out, the CBO said.
By 2022, the CBO forecasts, the court’s decision will reduce state Medicaid and child health-care rolls by about 6 million people, while increasing enrollment in the insurance exchanges by about 3 million.