Hatch, Republican congressmen ask Budget Office to analyze Obamacare costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined with Republican committee leaders in asking the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the budgetary effects of delaying Obamacare’s employer mandate and reporting requirements.

Last week, the Obama administration decided to ignore specific requirements in the health care law as mandated by Congress, conceding their signature legislative achievement is unworkable. This action will alter previous cost and coverage estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. To get answers for the American people, the members of key House and Senate committees asked CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, in consultation with the Joint Committee on Taxation, to determine how this delay will affect individual consumers, the insurance exchanges and Medicaid spending. In part, the letter stated:

The Administration’s decision to delay the employer and insurer reporting requirements will certainly change the budgetary effects of (the Patient Protection and Affodable Care Act). While it is clear there will be an immediate loss of revenue from employer fines and penalties as a result of the mandate’s delay, there are many unanswered questions about how the delay will affect insurance options available to individuals, the subsidies provided to those who purchase health insurance on the new health insurance exchanges, the impact on employer-sponsored coverage, and Medicaid spending. The delay also raises serious concerns about the long-run feasibility of the employer mandate and the law’s burden on employers.

To help Congress evaluate the complete impact of the Administration’s action to delay enforcement of the mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements, we are writing to request that the Congressional Budget Office, in consultation with the Joint Committee on Taxation, provide estimates of the announcement’s full budgetary effect—including outlays, revenues, and the federal deficit—of the provisions as the Administration intends to implement them. We also request estimates of changes to insurance coverage, including the extent to which there is a substitution effect as a result of coverage offered through PPACA, especially as it relates to employer-sponsored and retiree coverage. Finally, please estimate the budgetary effects of a scenario where the Administration chooses to never implement the employer mandate and insurer reporting requirements.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Submitted by: The Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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