CBO estimates 23 million will remain uninsured after health reform

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Although the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the healthcare overhaul will eventually cover 32 million more Americans, it admits that about 23 million people will still be left out of "universal healthcare" by 2019.

Seven million undocumented immigrants, who are excluded, make up the first third of the group that will remain uninsured. Experts presume that the other 16 million will be made up of people who don't have to, or choose not to purchase health insurance under the mandate.

In particular, low-income individuals who would have to spend more than 8 percent of their pay on the cheapest plans available to them are not subject to the penalty. People who make too little to file a tax return also are excused. However, some of these citizens may make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

And a number of young, healthy people may prefer paying the $95 fine in 2014 to buying insurance. However, enrollments are expected to increase when the penalty for not carrying health insurance rises to $695 (or 2.5 percent of a person's income, whichever is greater) in 2019.

For more information:
- read the Kaiser Health News story
- access estimates from the CBO here

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