CBO: Public Option To Attract Only 6 Million Enrollees & Doesn’t Offer Lower Premiums

The Congressional Budget Office analysis of the recently released House health bill has concluded that the bill costs $894 billion over 10 years and reduces the deficit by $104B over 10 years.

The public option would attract about 6 million enrollees by 2019 and charge premiums that are “somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges.” This is because the public option would “engage in less management of utilization” by its enrollees and “attract a less healthy pool of enrollees,” the office concludes. Moreover, since the House bill expands Medicaid up to 150% of the federal poverty line, it’s possible that the enrollees that would have enrolled in the public option went into Medicaid instead.

Below is a comparison of the relevant provisions in the House and Senate Finance Committee legislation:

CBO Score Of House BillCBO Score Of Baucus BillCostsReduce deficits: $104B/10yrs  Cost: $894B/10yrs  Spends on subsidies: $605B/10yrs On Medicaid/CHIP: $425B/10yrs On Small Employer Credit: $25B/10yrsReduce deficits: $81B/10yrs  Cost: $829B/10yrs  Spends on subsidies: $461B/10yrs On Medicaid/CHIP: $345B/10yrs On Small Employer Credit: $23B/10yrsInsuredUninsured reduced by: 36M  Uninsured in 2019: 18M In Exchanges: 30M | Public Plan: 6M In Medicaid: 15MUninsured reduced by: 29M  Uninsured in 2019: 25M In Exchanges: 23M  In Medicaid: 14MRevenueMandate penalty: $33B/10yrsPay-Play penalty: $135B/10yrs New taxes: $572B/10yrsMandate penalty: $4B/10yrsFree rider penalty: $23B/10yrs New taxes: $196B/10yrs Medicare andMedicaidTotal savings: 426B/10yrs Medicare Advantage: $170B/10yrsTotal savings: 404B/10yrs Medicare Advantage: $117B/10yrs