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Why Congress Shouldn’t Increase Obamacare Spending

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Public Advisor
Doug Badger’s career in public policy spans more than three decades and includes stints as a policy adviser to the White House, the U.S. Senate, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration.

A recent analysis of federal health spending by the Congressional Budget Office suggests that allowing temporary expansions of Obamacare subsidies to expire in December would save taxpayers billions of dollars without reducing the number of those covered by individual health insurance.

Senate Democrats nevertheless seek to extend the expansion of Obamacare and salvage a few other provisions of President Joe Biden’s star-crossed Build Back Better spending bill.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., whose support is crucial to Democrats’ passing the slimmed-down package, reportedly has agreed to put government price controls on prescription medicines and to extend the expanded Obamacare premium subsidies for two more years.

Congress temporarily expanded those subsidies in the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion bill that has contributed to record inflation. Lawmakers argued that the pandemic required more generous Obamacare subsidies. Those subsidies are due to expire this December.

The latest Congressional Budget Office analysis of Obamacare cost and coverage effects suggests that extending the subsidies beyond December would cost taxpayers plenty. Letting the subsidies expire not only would save money but wouldn’t result in fewer Americans having individual health insurance coverage in 2023.  

The full article can be found in The Daily Signal.

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