Although supporters of the effort to defund the Affordable Care Act say their actions would reduce the deficit, Josh Gordon, policy director of The Concord Coalition, recently told Congressional Quarterly (CQ) that not fully implementing the ACA would increase the deficit because the government would not be able to collect revenue it would otherwise receive under the law.
“If it was ultimately successful in completely stopping the implementation, then they would be shrinking federal budget outlays, but that’s very different from shrinking the deficit,” Gordon said.
The CQ story, “The High Price of ‘Defunding,’” notes that the defunding provision in the House continuing resolution to fund the government would prohibit all federal agencies from spending funds to carry out any provisions of the law.
This includes barring the Treasury from paying states to expand their Medicaid programs or providing subsidies to lower-income taxpayers who need to buy insurance.
However, many budget experts say that denying agencies the appropriations needed to carry out the law will probably stop the IRS from spending money to collect revenue from the law’s new taxes.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) previously found that the law, if fully implemented, would bring in more revenue than the government would spend for the entire law, leading Gordon to conclude that defunding the law would increase the deficit.