Health-care law will cost taxpayers less than expected, CBO says

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from The Washington Post,

President Obama’s health-care law will cost taxpayers substantially less than previously estimated, congressional budget officials said Monday, in an upbeat note for a program that has faced withering criticism since its passage five years ago.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office attributed the savings to spending on medical care in coming years that will not be as great as previously forecast. As a result, the agency said, insurers are not expected to charge Americans as much for coverage, and the government will save on subsidies for low- and moderate-income people.

What’s more, the CBO has concluded that companies are not canceling health insurance policies as often as had been anticipated earlier this year. Fewer Americans consequently are planning to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, generating more taxpayer savings.

In total, the health-care law will cost taxpayers $142 billion, or 11 percent, less over the next decade than estimated in January. The cost of providing subsidies for people to buy insurance on the state and federal marketplaces — the centerpiece of the law — will be 20 percent lower than projected.

The savings are a positive development for a program that has been battered by bad news, from the botched rollout of the main enrollment Web site in 2013 to a legal challenge before the Supreme Court last week

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