Bill to reduce uninsured by 16M carries $1T price tag

Is reducing the number of uninsured people in the United States by 16 million worth $1 trillion over a 10-year time span? That's what the Congressional Budget Office estimates a bill to reform healthcare in the United States will accomplish should it pass as is, according to the Washington Post.

A letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) points out that "based on major provisions" in "an incomplete draft of the bill," 23 million individuals would wind up without insurance--15 million who were formerly covered through employers, and another 8 million covered by "other sources." However, 39 million people overall would become covered through other exchanges, creating a net of 16 million individuals covered.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf did write that the $1 trillion price tag could rise, considering the organization did not account for "proposals" offering federal subsidies to individuals making between 150 and 500 percent of the federal poverty level, according to Modern Healthcare. "Taking all of its provisions into account could change our assessment of the proposal's effects on the budget and insurance coverage rates though probably not by substantial amounts relative to the net costs already identified," wrote Elmendorf.

To learn more:
- read this Washington Post article
- check out this Modern Healthcare piece