More than four million small businesses would lose access to tax credits for health insurance, while employer-based insurance costs could increase by more than $3,000 annually if Congress were to repeal the federal health reform law, according to a report issued on Monday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, MedPage Today reports.
The report -- which used data from the Congressional Budget Office, other government agencies, business groups and health analysts -- follows a preliminary analysis by CBO issued last week that found repealing the overhaul would result in $230 billion in budget deficits by 2021 (Frieden, MedPage Today, 1/11).
House Republicans plan to soon vote on legislation (HR 2) that would repeal the reform law.
CBO reported that although health premiums might be lower for some individuals in the event of the reform law's repeal, consumers would receive more limited coverage, and many would pay more without the subsidies provided by the law.
CBO also released projections for the 2012-2019 period, saying budget deficits would "probably increase" by around $145 billion (California Healthline, 1/7).
According to the USPIRG report, potential consequences of repealing the law include:
- An estimated two million young adults losing coverage under their parents' insurance;
- Funding reductions for 8,200 community health centers;
- Premiums would increase by as much as 20% by 2016 for individual health plans offered through the new state insurance exchanges;
- More than 57 million individuals with pre-existing conditions facing coverage denials and higher costs when seeking coverage; and
- Increasing employer health costs, which in turn could cause the loss of as many as 4.5 million jobs over 10 years (Frieden, MedPage Today, 1/11).