CBO: Repealing Health Care Law Would Increase Federal Deficits

January 6, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - As a result of changes in direct spending and revenues, the Congressional Budget Office expects that enacting the proposed repeal of the health care reform law would probably increase federal budget deficits over 2012–2019 by a total of roughly $145 billion.

In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), the CBO said that figure consists of two components: 

  • About $130 billion, representing the net reduction in deficits over the 2012–2019 period expected to result from the health care provisions of the enacted legislation (as estimated by CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) last March), plus 
  • About $15 billion, representing the reduction brought about by the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 in the estimated cost of subsidies to be provided through the insurance exchanges through 2019. 


The CBO has not yet developed a detailed estimate of the budgetary impact of repealing health care legislation, but is working with the JCT to complete such an estimate in the near future. The agency said it is providing a preliminary analysis because Congressional deliberations on H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, could begin very soon.  

The bill says the provisions of law amended or repealed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be restored or revived as if it had not been enacted, and also proposes to repeal health care-related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (see GOP Announces Plans to Repeal Health Care Law).    

The CBO letter is here.