New Report Disputes CBO’s Analysis of ACA Mandate Repeal

S&P Estimates Lower Savings, Fewer Uninsured Than CBO for Mandate
– Inside Health Policy

Manatt’s Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health, was quoted by Inside Health Policy for an article on a new report by S&P Global that weighs the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate repeal.

According to the publication, S&P Global found that the federal government would save far less—and far fewer Americans would end up insured—than estimated by the Congressional Budget Office. The reason there’s a slightly different view is that S&P believes that the mandate is weak, and so full removal would have less impact. The firm believes that it is not the mandate penalty, but the intrinsic financial incentives available to most eligible enrollees that drive enrollment in these two markets.

Ario explained, however, that the report reads as if it were written by someone who doesn’t understand insurance incentives. “If consumers can opt out of paying for health insurance and still get the same insurance deal after they get sick, the message to healthy consumers is to save your money until you get sick. Every state that had guaranteed issue without a mandate in pre-ACA days had the same result—escalating premiums and shrinking enrollment.”