President-elect Donald Trump and top Republicans in Congress have vowed to repeal Obamacare as soon as possible. But doing so would cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, concluded an analysis released on Jan. 4.
The study, from the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, determined that repealing all of the Affordable Care Act, including the expanded health care coverage, tax-raising offsets and slowed Medicare spending provisions, would cost approximately $350 billion through 2027.
Initially, the government would see short-term savings of approximately $750 billion, if they were to end all of the taxes, fees and coverage changes immediately, though legislators are expected to wait at least two years to make the changes, until they have finalized an alternative to replace the program. If they wait two years, it will reduce those savings to $550 billion.
The Republican-dominated Senate is moving forward with plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act after voting along party lines Jan. 4 to repeal much of Obamacare through a budget reconciliation bill, notes CNN.
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"Americans face skyrocketing premiums and soaring deductibles," said Republican Senate Budget Committee chairman Mike Enzi in a statement, according to CNN. "Insurers are withdrawing from markets across the country, leaving many families with fewer choices and less access to care than they had before -- the opposite of what the law promised."
According to the committee's analysis, a full repeal would leave no additional funds for replacement legislation, making it necessary to cut down the budget in other areas. However, the government could save money by ending some, but not all portions of the ACA. If they end only the individual and employer mandates, upping the number of uninsured individuals by roughly $15 million, they would save roughly $300 billion over the next 10 years.
Similarly, repealing all coverage provisions but keeping the Medicare reductions and tax increases, would add 23 million uninsured individuals but save roughly $155 trillion. Keeping the ACA's Medicare adjustments but repealing all coverage and tax provisions would save roughly $750 billion.