"There are two Affordable Care Acts. There's the legislation passed by Congress in 2009, and then there's the mythical Affordable Care Act – the perfidious 'government takeover' decried and demagogued by so many conservatives (and quite a few liberals). The former is quite popular, the latter gets decidedly mixed reviews."
Changes in Spending Under an Individual Mandate
"An individual mandate will result in an increase in government spending of about 1–6 percent, as shown in Table 1. Because the subsidy cost is all borne by government, as the size of the subsidy increases, so will government spending. Medicaid increases are insensitive to the size of the subsidy, since people who are eligible for Medicaid cannot take advantage of the subsidy. For Medicaid, the increase in spending is determined by the size of the penalty and ranges from no change without a penalty to about a $25 billion increase (7.6 percent of total Medicaid spending in 2007) at a penalty of 80 percent."
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