10 Years After 'Obamacare,' About 31 Million Will Be Uninsured, Gov't Study Says

Ten years from now, about 31 million U.S. residents will be without health insurance, predicts a study by the Congressional Budget Office.

When President Barack Obama called for passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009, he said the law was necessary in order to provide health insurance for the approximately 30 million Americans who do not have it. One conservative author, John Podhoretz, reported for the New York Post that this means the number of uninsured will remain about the same even after passage of the ACA. Obama, though, was not counting non-citizens while the CBO report does count non-citizens. (Non-citizens are not eligible for government subsidies to purchase health insurance under the ACA.)

According to the report, "the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will markedly increase the number of nonelderly people who have health insurance – by about 13 million in 2014, 20 million in 2015, and 25 million in each of the subsequent years through 2024 (see Table B-2). Still, according to estimates by CBO and JCT, about 31 million nonelderly residents of the United States are likely to be without health insurance in 2024, roughly one out of every nine such residents."

Of those 31 million uninsured, about half will be either unauthorized immigrants (30 percent) or eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled (20 percent). Most of the rest (45 percent) are expected to be Americans who choose not to purchase insurance. And, the CBO believes, about five percent will not be eligible for Medicaid because they live in a state that has not chosen to expand coverage under the ACA.

The percentage of the population without health insurance is expected to go from 16 percent of the population today to 11 percent of the population in 2024 when including all U.S. residents; or, from 14 percent of the population today to eight percent of the population in 2024 when excluding unauthorized immigrants from the calculation.

The report also found that there will be seven million fewer Americans with employer provided health insurance and 13 million more Americans on Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program in 10 years.

Additionally, the report shows, the ACA will contribute $1.275 trillion in total spending and $78 billion in government revenue over 10 years. Together, this means the ACA will add $1.197 trillion to the national debt over 10 years. The national debt is currently over $17.3 trillion.