More CBO fun
The CBO score for the Manager’s Amendment for the Senate healthcare bill is filled with fun. My kids are climbing all over me (again), so I’ll make this quick.
* the increase in the Initial Coverage Limit in 2010 is FREE. See Section 3315, which is merged with the cost estimate from Section 3301. Section 3301 should also result in a net cost in 2010, since more people will hit the catastrophic threshold. The fact that the ICL increase is costless is rather shocking. That’s a mult-billion give-away by someone to someone.
* The bill moves Grandfathering up to the date of enactment. The Senate Finance Committee delayed grandfathering until 2013, and the House delayed it until 12/31/2013. Despite this, the new score has more people in grandfathered plans than the SFC version! Like all previous estimates, the size of the non-group, non-Exchange group of policies grows over time, which just doesn’t make much sense given that it will be illegal to keep these policies in force after 2013.
* It is still apparently too difficult to break apart non-group, non-Exchange average premiums from the Exchange premiums. It’s also too difficult to calculate the subsidies by state … premium impacts by state … uninsured by state. Etc.
I’m quite glad I’m not a politician having to vote for this thing without better information. I don’t think many understand the degree to which these numbers are shoe-horned into a particular result, rushed to completion, and insufficient to judge the wisdom of this bill’s provisions.