About that CBO Score

I try to offer a bit of perspective on the ugly CBO coverage number that Capitol Hill is buzzing about.

The Congressional Budget Office’s model loves the individual mandate.

Loves it. It’s part of the reason the ACA ended up with one in the first place, despite Candidate Obama going so far as to run attack ads excoriating Secretary Clinton for it during the 2008 primary.

It helped that Clinton’s position on the mandate was shared by most Democrats; but, as Ryan Lizza noted in a 2012 New Yorker piece on Obama’s evolution, the CBO consideration was a major and explicit part of the calculus.

So if we know that the model gave generous treatment to the individual mandate in the first place — overly so, based on actual enrollment figures — it should come as no surprise that it judges repeal of the mandate quite harshly. It can’t help that the replacement mechanism inserted by Republicans, a 3o percent lapse surcharge ostensibly meant to incentivize continued coverage, logically has the opposite effect. (If I’m a young, healthy individual, the relative savings of foregoing insurance promises to far outstrip a nominal 12 month penalty in the event of its necessity.)

Full post here.

For a more in-depth look, check out Avik Roy’s analysis over at Forbes.

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