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ACA Repeal Would Cost $353 Billion

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would increase budget deficits by $353 billion over the next decade, according to a new report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This is a significant increase over the last estimated cost of repeal using traditional scoring practices conducted in 2012, which found that repeal of the law would only cost $109 billion.

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) also conducted a dynamic score to estimate what repeal of the ACA would cost taking into consideration the macroeconomic effects of the law and found that the deficit would increase by $137 billion over the next ten years. This projection is the first dynamic cost estimate conducted by the CBO and JCT since new congressional rules requiring the dynamic scoring of major legislation took effect earlier this year.

CBO found that in the decade after 2025, repeal would increase the deficit by 1 percent of GDP. The report estimates that 19 million people would lose health insurance in this scenario in 2016, and an additional 24 million people would lose coverage between 2021-2025. The report also asserts that ACA repeal would be hard to execute, and outlines the major challenges and complications repeal would entail.

The new CBO estimate will make any Republican plan to use reconciliation to repeal the health care law even more difficult, because the Republican written reconciliation instructions require any measure moved using reconciliation to reduce the deficit.