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CBO Predicts Wait Lists, Rationing of Care, and Vast Underfunding in Signature ObamaCare Program

June 21, 2010

Today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) echoed the concerns previously stated by the Obama Administration’s own Medicare actuaries that the high-risk pools created in the Democrats’ health care overhaul will be vastly underfunded and help very few Americans with pre-existing health conditions.

Specifically, CBO stated the high-risk pool “subsidies would not be sufficient to cover the cost of all applicants” and the federal government would essentially ration care for the most vulnerable Americans by “limit[ing] enrollment in the program.”  CBO estimated that while “the number of people who may be eligible for this program is in the millions” average enrollment would hover around just 200,000 people.  This independent analysis is far different from the Democrats’ claim that the high-risk pool policy “provides immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.”

In April, the Medicare actuaries predicted that, “By 2011 and 2012 the initial $5 billion in Federal funding for [high risk pools] would be exhausted, resulting in substantial premium increases to sustain the program.”