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September 10 2013

How to Save Billions: Delay ObamaCare

Patrice J. Lee

A federal budget office has given new ammunition to opponents of ObamaCare with its findings that delaying the individual healthcare mandate would save Americans $35 billion over a decade.

If you’re not in Washington, you may not be up to the minute about the campaigns to repeal, defund, and delay the President’s behemoth healthcare law. These efforts may get a boost from the federal office that scores or prices out the costs of federal legislation.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office announced that delaying the individual healthcare requirement under ObamaCare will be a cost savings to the nation’s pocketbook. Delaying it for just one year would save $35 billion over a decade ($3.5 billion each year). The downside is uninsured people and insurance premiums are projected to rise.

Interestingly, the one-year delay in the employer mandate already in place actually costs us over $1 billion each year for the next ten years. That’s largely because the government cannot collect fines on employers it expected would not provide health insurance to its workers.

The Hill explains:

The House passed a bill in July to delay the employer mandate by one year, matching the White House's delay in the law's employer mandate.

Republicans argued that the administration created a double standard by delaying the requirement for employers to provide insurance but not the mandate requiring individuals to buy it.

The bill stands no chance of advancing through the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the White House has already said Obama would veto it. But if it did become law, it would cut federal spending while increasing the number of uninsured people and raising insurance premiums, the CBO said.

…The number of uninsured Americans would climb by 11 million if the mandate were delayed, according to the agency, leaving roughly 55 million people uninsured.

If my math is correct, delaying the individual mandate is still a good deal because it cancels out the increased cost of the delayed employer mandate and leaves $23 billion in savings. Not bad.

Now off course the best deal would be no mandates at all.

Numbers in the billions and trillions are tossed around like footballs so much that they lose meaning. So let’s put this in context. The cost savings of holding off the individual mandate would be the same value as the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers combined.

The Hill isn’t too optimistic about the individual mandate delay and neither am I. The Administration already has enough egg on its face for delaying the employer mandate, but we can hope that the building case against ObamaCare will stymie its steamroll over our freedoms, liberty and economic health.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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