CBO Projections Indicate Obamacare Will Raise Deficits by $131 Billion

Analysis of Congressional Budget Office projections by the Senate Budget Committee finds that Obamacare will increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not actually scored the deficit impact of Obamacare since the summer of 2012.  At that time, it estimated that Obamacare would reduce deficits by $109 billion over a decade.  But that was for the 2013-22 budgetary window.  Using growth rates derived from that estimate, Senate Budget Committee (SBC) staff found that this $109 billion budgetary surplus for 2013-22 would have become a $180 billion budgetary surplus for 2015-24, if nothing had changed in the interim.

However, much has changed.  Since the CBO last scored the deficit impact of Obamacare more than two years ago, Americans have witnessed the troubled rollout of the Obamacare exchanges, and President Obama has refused to enforce significant portions of the legislation (like the employer and individual mandates, at least as they pertain to some employers and some individuals).  Meanwhile, the CBO has made technical adjustments to its baseline projections for federal health spending, has updated its economic forecasts, and has scored the legislation’s effect on labor markets.  Therefore, the 2012 figure of $109 billion for 2013-22, extrapolated out to $180 billion for 2015-24, is no longer current.