CBO: Immigration Bill Could Add Billions to Cost of Obamacare

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 12:05 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Proposals in the Senate immigration-reform bill to legalize the nation's 11 million undocumented workers and expand the guest-worker program would cost the government billions of dollars as more people become eligible for Obamacare, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis.

The CBO predicts that workers at the top and bottom of the income scale would face higher rates of unemployment and lower wages as they compete with newly legalized immigrants, according to The Washington Times.

The CBO calculated the bill would cost $87 billion more in subsidies for immigrants who qualify to buy insurance on the new Obamacare health exchanges. While the newly legalized won't be eligible, guest workers and several other categories of work visa holders, would be.

Overall, however, the immigration bill is expected to boost the economy by adding $200 billion to the federal budget in the first decade and an additional $700 billion in the second decade, as the increased revenue from taxes will outweigh the costs of benefits for new citizens.

The CBO estimates that if the bill becomes law, an additional 10.4 million people will be living in the United States by 2023.



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