CBO: Premiums Would Increase...And Cost Less

The Congressional Budget Office has a new analysis out today on how premiums would change under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's health reform bill. And it will, miraculously, supply both sides with talking points.

Most prominently, the bad news for Democrats: insurance premiums for nongroup insurance plan holders will be 10 to 13 percent higher in 2016 under Reid's bill than under current law, the CBO says. The good news: the government subsidies provided under the plan would more than offset the increase, meaning people would pay less on the whole.

And: premiums would be basically unchanged for plans that are part of small and large groups. For small-group plans, the CBO estimates a change of +1 to -2 percent; for large-group plans, a change of 0 to -3 percent--meaning opponents of Reid's bill can't claim that, based on the CBO's numbers, insurance premiums will be higher for people who already have plans under their employers' large or small groups.

Here's the CBO's chart:

CBO screen shot.jpg