The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") was projected by the Congressional Budget Office to reduce the national deficit. When Obamacare went to the Supreme Court, the court ruled that it was constitutional so long as states could refuse medicaid expansion that would have been paid for entirely by the federal government until 2020 (at which point 90% of the expansion would be covered by the federal government). Several states have decided to opt out of medicaid expansion. What affect does that have on the estimated deficit reduction of Obamacare?

  • I was under impression that original CBO's projected costs were revised upwards later. I'll need to dig up sources. – user4012 Apr 1 '13 at 17:23
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    Chad, read the article. The CBO report projects deficit reduction over the next decade. – Avi Apr 3 '13 at 21:19
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    @Avi - GAO estimates were adding something like 6 trillion to deficit. I trust GAO a lot more than the ultimate yes-men at CBO (who are apolitical in that they produce whatever answers EITHER party asking them to produce wants). – user4012 Apr 4 '13 at 15:10
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    Given disagreements among experts, what are your qualifications to judge who is correct? It should also be noted that the actual purpose of the CBO is to make these estimates and the purpose of the GAO is to investigate government misconduct and waste. – Avi Apr 5 '13 at 10:44
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    Do you have evidence for those statements? – Avi Jul 17 '13 at 10:30

It will reduce the cost by $84 billion from 2012-2020. CBO excerpt, and full report.

What Is the Net Budgetary Impact of the Coverage Provisions Taking Into Account the Supreme Court’s Decision?

CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of $1,168 billion over the 2012–2022 period—compared with $1,252 billion projected in March 2012 for that 11-year period—for a net reduction of $84 billion. (Those figures do not include the budgetary impact of other provisions of the ACA, which in the aggregate reduce budget deficits.)

The projected net savings to the federal government resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision arise because the reductions in spending from lower Medicaid enrollment are expected to more than offset the increase in costs from greater participation in the newly established exchanges.

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  • Great, thank you. Most of the responses to this question were uncited rants tangentially related to my question. – Avi Nov 23 '13 at 0:23

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