President Obama’s health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.
CBO said that this year’s tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they’ll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.
But the non-partisan agency also expects fewer people to have to pay individual penalties to the IRS than it earlier projects, because of a better method for calculating incomes that found more people will be exempt.
Overall, the new health provisions are expected to cost the government $1.165 trillion over the next decade — the same as last year’s projection.
With other spending cuts and tax increases called for in the health law, though, CBO still says Mr. Obama’s signature achievement will reduce budget deficits in the short term.
During the health care debate Mr. Obama had said individuals would be able to keep their plans.