If the Senate immigration bill becomes law, federal health care spending would increase by $112 billion over the next decade as more people take advantage of Medicaid, Medicare and subsidies from President Obama’s health care law, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
In a highly anticipated report, the CBO found that overall, the immigration bill would reduce deficits by $197 billion in the first decade and $700 billion in the following decade, based on the assumption that a flow of new tax revenue would more than offset increased spending on federal benefits and other provisions of the law.
That said, CBO noted that the current language in the bill leaves it unclear which categories of immigrants would be eligible for various government benefits. Under CBO’s interpretation, passage of the bill would boost spending on subsidies to purchase health insurance on Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges by $82.3 billion from 2014 through 2023; increase Medicaid spending by 29.3 billion; and raise Medicare spending by $0.8 billion. In the second decade following passage, the law would increase federal spending on low-income health programs by $400 billion, according to the CBO.