CBO Says House Bill Will Cost Under $900b, and Decrease Uninsured by 2/3

The Congressional Budget Office  has already weighed in on the impact of the House health care reform bill (HR 3962).  The CBO is a fast reader – the bill is 1990 pages.

The CBO concludes that the bill will come in at a whisker under the magic $900 billion over 10 years, and will result in a decrease of 2/3 in the number of uninsured adults in the US.  It includes a public option, which the CBO estimates would attract 9 million enrollees by 2019.

New spending:
Medicaid and SCHIP: $425 billion
Subsidies for poor to buy insurance: $605 billion
Primary care increases: $57 billion
Public health initiatives $34 billion

Offsetting savings:
Provider (nonphysician) fee cuts: $229 billion
Medicare Advantage cuts: $170 billion

New revenue
Individual penalties:  $33 billion
Employer penalties: $135 billion

Not considered:
Cost of reversing the dreaded physician’s SGR Sustainable Growth Revenue, which threatens to reduce physician payment by Medicare by 21% on January 1. The cost of reversing this would be $245 billion over 10 years.