House Republicans are making their 37th attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill, H.R. 45 introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann, is scheduled for a vote Thursday.
Conservatives argue the healthcare law is bound to be a budget disaster by extending government benefits to more people, but Democrats say the law was designed to curb healthcare costs overall.
The CBO said there is too little time before the vote to provide a new cost estimate, but director Doug Elmendorf pointed to an estimate from July 2012 that repealing the healthcare law would raise the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years.
"Although [we] have not updated that estimate to reflect the most recent baseline projections, we anticipate a similar result were we to do so," Elmendorf wrote in a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
The CBO said that eliminating the law's expensive coverage provisions would be more than offset by repealing its taxes, fees and Medicare cuts, resulting in a deficit increase. The office also said yesterday that the law's unpopular taxes and mandates will affect fewer people and businesses than previously estimated, raising less revenue, and increasing the net cost of coverage by $40 billion over 10 years.
A recent report from the CBO showed an overall decrease in the federal budget deficit if current laws and spending remain in place.