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Repealing Obamacare would cost a lot

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 19 Jun 2015

Repealing President Obama's signature healthcare law will likely come with a pricetag in the billions.Some conservative activists are hoping that the Supreme Court willgut Obamacare in a high-stakes opinionthat will be handed down before the end of June.But deficit-hawks within the party may be less than enthused about the price.In their first major analysis of the issue in three years, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation saida repeal would increase the deficit,send the number of uninsured Americans soaring, and lead to higher Medicare costs.According to the CBO, repealing the law could increase the US budget deficit by up to $353 billion over 10 years.The deficit increase could be smaller. By taking into account economic feedback from an Obamacare repeal, chiefly an increase in the supply of labor as Americans lose Obamacare subsidies, CBO and JCT estimated that the deficit would only increase by $137 billion over the 2016-2025 period.Perhaps more importantly, the CBO estimates that repealing Obamacare would increase the number of non-elderly Americans by 19 million by 2016 alone.The CBO's estimates come as the Supreme Court is set to announce whetherthe federal government is legally entitled to grant subsidies to Americans who live in states that haven't set up their own health care exchanges.Several prominent conservative legal experts brought the case after they discovered a strangely-worded phrase in the law that suggests that healthcare subsidies wouldn't be allowed in states that didn't set up their own exchanges.If the court sides with the plaintiffs, millions of Americans in the 36 states with federally-run exchanges will no longer qualify for subsidies. This will likely force thousands of healthy subsidy-recipients to drop out, raising premiums and forcing older, less-healthy Americans off their plans.The repealwould hit poor, Southern communities hard.Since Obamacare was passed in 2010, 11.7 million Americans have signed up through state and federal exchanges, many of them with the help of federal government subsides.View an interactive map belowvia the Kaiser Family Foundationthat shows how repealing the healthcare law would play out in each state:SEE ALSO:Obama: If the Supreme Court derails Obamacare, 'Congress could fix this whole thing'Join the conversation about this story
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