Ending Obamacare mandate won’t cut number of insured — or budget deficit — as much as forecast, report says

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Don Humbertson, a 64 year old lung cancer surviver, is examined by Dr. Wade Harvey at the Clay-Battelle Community Health Center March 21, 2017 in Blacksville, West Virginia.

Repealing the Obamacare requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a fine would not cut the number with insurance — or the federal budget deficit — as much as officially predicted, a new analysis says.

The analysis suggests that Obamacare is such an attractive financial deal to many people that they don’t have to be compelled to sign up for coverage with the threat of a fine.

The S&P Global Ratings analysis estimates that repealing the Obamacare individual mandate — which a controversial new Senate tax bill seeks to do — will lead to about 4 million to 5 million more people becoming uninsured by 2027 than otherwise would have been.

The S&P analysis also projects that killing that mandate would save the federal government just $60 billion to $80 billion over the next decade.

Those savings would come from the government paying less in subsidies for people enrolled in Obamacare individual health plans or Medicaid.

Both estimates by S&P fall far below projections made last week by the Congressional Budget Office in that nonpartisan agency’s own analysis of a mandate repeal.

CBO had predicted that 13 million more people would become uninsured. And CBO said the budget deficit would be reduced by $338 billion by 2027.

CBO also estimated that premiums for individual health plans would be 10 percent higher than they otherwise would be if the mandate is repealed.

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