|RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press|
While that's a big number, the report from the official budget scorekeeper for
Earlier this month, the
Opponents of the health care law saw the delay as a sign that the law's implementation had run into serious problems, and some labor unions denounced it as a handout to big business. But employers welcomed the unexpected respite from complicated reporting rules that the administration concedes will require more time to work out. The
Uninsured people without access to coverage at work will be able to start shopping for a health plan
At the same time, most Americans will face an individual requirement to carry health insurance or pay fines. That's designed to expand the number of healthy people in the pool, since the law forbids insurers from turning away people with pre-existing health problems.
All told, about 13 million of nearly 50 million uninsured U.S. residents are expected to gain coverage in 2014, according to the latest CBO estimates. That number is expected to gradually increase to between 25 million and 30 million people.
The budget office said fewer than half million people will have to forgo coverage as a consequence of the delay in the so-called employer mandate. The delay "will have only a negligible effect on sources of insurance coverage," the report said.
The government will lose
However, the impact on the bottom line does not appear to be major — at least in terms of the federal budget.
The CBO estimated that the cost of expanding coverage under the law will rise to
Some of the other recent changes in regulations issued by the administration loosened procedures for verifying the incomes of people applying for health insurance tax credits.
However, the CBO and the congressional
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