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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1972484  
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 11:47 AM
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I really don't know the details of the ACA, aka "Obamacare", but the "free" health care insurance will more than likely cost US taxpayers less over time, won't it?

No, probably not. The uninsured consume less health care than the insured, both in terms of dollars and in services. That's part of why they have poorer health outcomes than the insured. They don't consume zero health care, of course. Some care is paid for by state or local funding, some by federal funding that goes to hospitals for treating the uninsured, some comes from charities, and some is paid for by the uninsured out-of-pocket (they typically pay about 35% of their current cost of care). So while some of the cost will be recouped from elsewhere in the system, not all of it will be. That's a big reason why the PPACA has to include a sizable amount of revenue to cover the costs of coverate, both from new charges and from other government programs.

Does anyone here know right now how many will get free health care and how many will be paying?

Original estimates were that of the 32 million or so that would gain coverage from the PPACA, about 17 millions (slightly more than half) would get added to Medicaid rolls, and thus get free health care. However, since the SCOTUS decision gave states the right to opt out of that expansion, the actual amount might be different:

http://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/2012/08/our-health-care-fut...

There's another 6-9 million that were expected to qualify for federal subsidies. A small proportion of those will be able to have their entire premium covered by those subsidies. The subsidies are capped such that a person would have to pay up to a certain amount of their income for a premium (ranging from 2% up through 10%, based on the poverty line) - however, that's based on the second-cheapest silver plan. Some small number of people getting the largest subsidies might be able to cover the full cost of the very cheapest silver plan, depending on how the numbers work out. Of course, keep in mind that the subsidies are enormous at lower income levels relative to the premiums - such households will only have to pay a few hundred dollars per year in premiums, for policies that are worth many thousands of dollars.

Only a minority of folks who gain coverage under the PPACA will be fully paying their own way.

Albaby
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