Health Care Spending Under Reform: Less Uncompensated Care and Lower Costs to Small Employers

Brief

Health Care Spending Under Reform: Less Uncompensated Care and Lower Costs to Small Employers

In this brief, we estimate that the annual cost of uncompensated health care for the uninsured would decrease from $61 billion to $25 billion under health reform legislation passed in the House. Because the government finances about three-quarters of uncompensated care, up to $27 billion per year could be used to offset the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies to employers and individuals. Overall, employers' net costs would increase by 2.9 percent over the current system, but small employers' net costs would decrease 8 percent due to employer subsidies, the expansion of Medicaid, and exemptions from penalties for not offering insurance.

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