Though the stated goal of Obamacare is to increase the number of Americans with health insurance, the government's accounting arm estimates it will get a revenue boost from those that do not buy coverage, anticipating $185 billion over the next decade in penalties from non-compliant individuals and employers.
President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
“People who do not obtain coverage will pay the greater of two amounts: either a flat dollar penalty per adult in a family, rising from $95 in 2014 to $695 in 2016 and indexed to inflation thereafter (the penalty for a child is half the amount, and an overall cap will apply to family payments),” a new report from the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation stated. The report said this could also be 1 percent of the household's income.
The report said the offices "estimate that such payments from individuals will total $46 billion over the 2015–2024 period.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires individual to have insurance and for employers to provide insurance or pay a federal tax penalty.
The revenue from employers would also be a significant $139 billion over 10 years, should that portion of the law – already delayed twice – ever take effect.
Although President Barack Obama and other administration officials have touted, the non-partisan CBO estimated 6 million will have signed up on the exchanges by the end of 2014.
White Hosue press secretary Jay Carney reasserted to reporters on Monday that's not the case.
“CBO uses a technical average-over-the-year estimate in which folks who came in late count for less than somebody who came in early for the purposes of calculating tax credits and so forth,” Carney said. “So if you signed up on March 31, you don’t get insurance until May 1, you will count essentially as two-thirds of a person in that calculation of what the year averages for people who have signed up. We know for a fact that more than 7.5 million people have signed up through the marketplaces.”
CBO estimates that will more than double to 13 million the following year, and by 2024, there will 25 million people who have purchased insurance on the Obamacare exchange.
Though critical of CBO findings in the past, Carney touted the study Monday as evidence of Obamacare success.
“It shows that marketplace health care costs have gone down because premium estimates have gone down,” Carney said. “Additionally, the effort to constrain health care costs more broadly is showing continued momentum as evidenced by the further reduction in projected Medicare spending. The CBO estimates that about 5 million people will enroll in plans that meet the ACA standards outside the marketplace. That is in addition to the millions who have signed up through the marketplaces or gained coverage on Medicaid, or have been able to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 because of the law.”