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Fully repealing Obamacare will cost $350 billion

by Tami Luhby

President-elect Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans love to say how unaffordable Obamacare is. But completely repealing the health reform law would be pretty costly to the federal budget.

A full repeal of Obamacare would cost $350 billion over the next decade, according to a new analysis from the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This makes its wholesale dismantling much more complicated.

Obamacare was carefully crafted in 2010 so that it didn't add to the federal deficit -- in fact, it boosted revenues slightly. The law affects the federal budget in three ways: coverage provisions, taxes and fees, and Medicare components.

 Here's the impact of repealing each (through 2027):

--Coverage provisions, which include the individual and employer mandates, subsidies and Medicaid expansion: Savings $1.55 trillion

--Taxes and fees levied on high-income Americans, insurers, providers and others, as well as the Cadillac tax on high-cost insurance plans: Cost $800 billion

 --Medicare components, such as slowing the growth of provider rates and lowering payments to Medicare Advantage insurers: Cost $1.1 trillion

Getting rid of all three would blow a hole in the budget even before Republicans come up with a replacement plan, which will also need to be funded.

At this point, Congressional Republicans are focusing on repealing the coverage provisions, taxes and fees through a process known as budget reconciliation.

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