PPACA repeal would add $353B to budget deficit

As lawmakers await the Supreme Court ruling on King v. Burwell, in which a decision to invalidate premium subsidies would unravel much of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office determined that repealing the law would increase the budget deficit by as much as $353 billion, according to Politico.

While scrapping the PPACA would generate savings by eliminating the insurance subsidies currently being provided to millions of Americans, those savings would be negated by reversing the program's cuts to Medicare and its various tax increases, and putting a greater emphasis on high-cost health plans, according to the report.

The CBO's analysis also found that a repeal would help grow the economy by 0.7 percent over the next decade, and add 19 million to the uninsured population.

This analysis is the first on the PPACA under new CBO Director Keith Hall. Republicans appointed Mr. Hall in February following complaints about how his predecessor, Doug Elmendorf, had analyzed the health reform law. However, the CBO's most recent projected impact of a repeal of the PPACA on the budget is actually bigger than what Mr. Elmendorf had forecasted. In 2012, the last time the CBO projected the budgetary impact of scrapping the law, Mr. Elmendorf said repealing the law would increase the deficit by $109 billion over a decade.

Republican reaction primarily focused on the positive impact a repeal would have on economic growth and downplayed the effect on the deficit, while those on the other side of the partisan divide applauded the CBO's findings.

"Any way you slice it, repealing the Affordable Care Act will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to Politico. "Republicans should look at the numbers and finally end their fixation with repealing this historic law."

These findings will make it more challenging for Republicans to use a process of reconciliation to repeal the law because congressional budgeting regulations prohibit lawmakers from using the process to change legislation that adds to government debt, according to the report.

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