Barack Obama

President Obama speaks at the White House in Washington on March 1, 2013. (Associated Press)

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times
Updated: 11:33 a.m. on Monday, March 9, 2015

Obamacare exchange customers could see a significant spike in their premiums over the next few years as insurers face pressures from both the government and the marketplace, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday in a new analysis finding Obamacare is both cheaper and less comprehensive than predicted.

The CBO said the exchanges and other new medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act will cost the government slightly more than half a trillion dollars over the next five years, which is about $200 billion less than than the $710 billion projected when the law was enacted in 2010.

Some of that is due to tweaks to the law, and to changing economic conditions, but the CBO and its fellow scorekeeper, the Joint Committee on Taxation, said medical care costs have also grown at a slower rate than projected, helping lower payments for both private care and for government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

“Although it is unclear how much of that slowdown is attributable to the recession and its aftermath and how much to other factors, the slower growth has been sufficiently broad and persistent to persuade CBO and JCT to significantly lower their projections of federal costs for health care,” the CBO said in its report.

The lower costs are at least in part due to fewer people gaining coverage.

The CBO predicted 11 million people will be enrolled in insurance exchanges in 2015, rising to 21 million next year. Both of those are lower than initial projections.

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