Now that the Congressional Budget Office has some real enrollment numbers to work with they have again lowered the projected cost of Affordable Care Act coverage expansion provisions. They now assume these provisions will only cost $1,383 billion from 2015-2024. That is $104 billion less than their estimates from February of this year. From the CBO:
There are several reasons the cost of the coverage provision have been reduced again. One important factor is the CBO projects that future premiums on the exchanges will be slightly lower than their past estimates. The CBO also assumes the total population of the country will be a few million smaller based on the last census.
Over the years the CBO’s cost estimates for the ACA have continually been revised modestly downward mainly because health care costs have grown slower than in the past. Most of this slowdown in healthcare spending can likely be attributed to a weaker than expected economy.
The CBO now believes the exchanges will eventually cover about 25 million starting in 2017. Without the ACA the number of uninsured in 2024 would have been 57 million but now it is projected to be 31 million.
That is not exactly universal heath insurance.