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CBO: Repealing ACA's individual mandate would save $338B

By Sara Shayanian
CBO: Repealing ACA's individual mandate would save $338B
The Congressional Budget Office projects that $338 billion would be saved over 10 years if the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate was repealed. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Repealing the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate would save $338 billion over 10 years, according to a new Congressional Budget Office analysis.

The CBO announced the updated estimated effects of repealing the individual mandate requiring Americans to have health insurance to meet specific standards and placing penalties on those who don't comply.

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The CBO said Wednesday it would change the way it analyzes the mandate after Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, criticized the office, accusing it of changing its analysis of the individual mandate to find fewer savings.

The CBO said it is changing the way it scores proposals to reform the mandate, but said the "work is not complete."

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"The agencies are publishing this update without incorporating major changes to their analytical methods," the CBO said.

The analysis comes as Republicans push for repealing the individual mandate as a way to pay for tax cuts. The results of the analysis should serve as a boost to the GOP leaders who want the repeal to go through due to billions in savings that could come from its absence.

"CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that repealing that mandate starting in 2019 would reduce federal budget deficits by $338 billion between 2018 and 2027 relative to CBO's most recent baseline," the CBO said in the statement.

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Without the mandate, however, many people could go uninsured and health insurance markets could be destabilized by removing an incentive for healthy Americans to enroll.

The CBO noted that more information involving the policy's effects on the budget, health insurance coverage and premiums would be released later on Wednesday.

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