12 Days of Obamacare Surprises: Exchange Subsidies


Not all surprises are good. When it comes to Obamacare, the original projections are turning into unfortunately different realities. For the next 9 days, Heritage is going to highlight one of the various changes in Obamacare projections (i.e. cost, enrollment, etc.) from when the law first passed until now.

The federal government will provide subsidies to offset the cost of coverage in Obamacare’s new exchanges for those with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that exchange subsidies would average $6,000 per enrollee in 2019, for a total cost of $113 billion.

In 2012, the CBO updated its projection for an average subsidy cost of $6,470 per enrollee in 2019. The total cost of subsidies and related spending is now projected to be $137 billion in 2019.

Surprise: With premiums higher than initially anticipated, the average subsidy is now projected to cost $470 more per person in 2019 alone. This increase in projections of about 8 percent is an indication that both health care premiums and the cost of Obamacare will continue to rise faster than reindeer take flight!

12 Days of Obamacare Surprises:

3. Big tax increases

2. The small business tax credit

1. And the individual mandate.


  1. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) was a liberal sometimes misidentified as a neo-conservative who believed in the beneficial uses of government power. But in reviewing the results of the Great Society programs he supported and help design he concluded that successful government programs required bureaucratic simplicity. Obamacare does not meet his criterion. In fact any 2700-page bill is certain to be full of unintended consequences beyond the power of mortal man to anticipate.


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