The total cost of all those receiving subsidized health insurancewill exceed $600 billion this year, with the majority of theAmerican public receiving subsidized health insurance beingemployed full time. Only a only a small number are obtainingsubsidized insurance through an insurance exchange, and about thesame number have no insurance this year.


That’s what a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of theAmerican health insurance landscape says. The CBO report onlyconsidered those under age 65. It found the next largest group withinsurance, and with subsidies, were the one-quarter of under-65Americans enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’sHealth Insurance Program.


“A smaller number will have non-group coverage that theypurchase either through or outside one of the health insurancemarketplaces … and about 27 million people under age 65 — 10percent of that population — will be uninsured in 2016,” the reportsaid.


Highlights of the report include the following:

  • $268 billion, or about 40 percent of 2016, are the result of taxbreaks for small employers and the exclusion for employer-basedhealth insurance plans that cover 155 million workers under 65years of age;

  • $279 billion in subsidies are attributed to Medicaid and thefederal Children’s Health Insurance Program;

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(PPACA) will account for $110 billion insubsidies;

  • The total estimate for 2016 subsidies is $660 billion, or 3.6percent of GDP;

  • CBO estimates that number will increase 5.4 percent a year;

  • By 2026, CBO estimates the cost of subsidies will be 1.1trillion — or 4.1 percent of GDP;

  • For the entire 2017–2026 period, the projected net subsidy is$8.9 trillion.

Going forward, CBO and its study partner, the Joint Committee onTaxation, are going to change how they break these numbers out.


“Although CBO and JCT have included in this report estimatesthat separately identify the effects of the ACA’s insurancecoverage provisions on the federal budget, generating suchestimates is becoming more difficult and less meaningful,” thereport says.


“As a result, CBO and JCT will no longer make separateprojections of all of the incremental effects of the ACA’sinsurance coverage provisions; instead, they will present theirprojections of overall insurance coverage levels and relatedsubsidies, taxes, and penalties under current law. In future years,the agencies will update and publish those broader estimatesannually.”

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