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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Congressional Budget Office doesn't expect much from House Democrats' plan to temporarily expand health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

The big picture: According to CBO's estimates, Democrats' proposals would cover fewer than 2 million uninsured Americans — at a cumulative cost of over $50 billion.

Details: Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee want to make more people eligible for the ACA's premium subsidies and increase the value of those subsidies for people who already get them. Both changes would be temporary.

  • Those changes would cover about 1.3 million uninsured people next year, CBO projects, and would end up costing the federal government about $34 billion.
  • Offering full subsidies to people receiving unemployment benefits would cost another $4.5 billion. And people wouldn't have to pay back excess subsidies from last year, adding another $6.3 billion.
  • Separately, Democrats' plan to subsidize COBRA benefits would cover about 600,000 otherwise uninsured Americans, along with over 1.6 million more who would have otherwise had some other form of coverage, at a cost of $7.8 billion.

By the numbers: That comes out to nearly $53 billion, for a set of policies that would, per CBO's estimates, cover 800,000 uninsured Americans this year, 1.3 million in 2022 and 400,000 in 2023, before phasing out.

Our thought bubble ... This does not seem like a particularly efficient, or even effective, way to achieve Democrats' primary goal: Offering a bridge to the millions of people who lost their health insurance when they or their family members lost their jobs amid the pandemic.

Go deeper

Feb 15, 2021 - Health

Biden reopens federal health insurance marketplace for 3 months

Biden on the White House lawn on Feb. 12. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden reopened the federal health insurance marketplace on Monday for three months, citing the importance of access to health care when more than 1 out of every 12 Americans has been infected with the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Nearly 15 million Americans are uninsured at the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues New York Times and his niece over tax report

Former President Trump hosting a boxing match in Hollywood, Florida on Sept. 11. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump on Tuesday over the news outlet's reporting on his tax records, the Daily Beast first reported.

Details: The lawsuit, filed in New York's Dutchess County, alleges NYT journalists "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records" and that it "convinced" Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney's office and turn them over to The Times."

House passes government funding, debt ceiling bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to fund the government through early December, along with a measure to raise the debt ceiling through December 2022.

Why it matters: The stopgap measure, which needs to be passed to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires on Sept. 30, faces a difficult journey in the Senate where at least ten Republicans would need to vote in favor.