Many people have said that there is no way Obama care can be totally self funding, it has to be subsidized by Federal funds. If this is true, from where are the funds generated?


ObamaCare is paid for by a mix of taxes and cost controlling measures which curb the growth pre-aca health care spending. It is funded by Federal and State tax dollars. The term self funding means that it was created in a way that the money saved was then used to fund the program. Learn more about ObamaCare's costs.

In other words, it's not just new federal spending, it's new spending offset by taxes and cost curbing... Which could be described as self funding. It would be more accurate to say the ACA is mostly self-funded. As more people take advantage of subsidies and Medicaid expansion and as costs in healthcare rise from 2015-2025, healthcare spending in general will require further cost cutting or funding to support itself to avoid having a negative impact on the deficit.

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Grace on

The answer is vague, amorphous, and says nothing. I wanted a list of every single tax that is funding Obamacare like the 3.5% real estate transfer tax for example. This answer was not helpful at all.

Zev on

Grace, you are looking for this page:

James Featherstone on

Wrong page. Please be more civil there will be children reading these comments.

Patricia Daniels on

Is there anyway to find out what the funding break down is by category?
With out this information the answer I very vague. on

So generally congress writes a budget, then they request funding from the Treasury … the Treasury gives them money, they spend, people pay taxes, IRS collects the money, then the treasury pays back borrowed money. So tracing a full line between taxes and spending isn’t as easy as one might think. All that aside, I don’t have a full breakdown of spending, costs, and where money is reinserted… but I do certainly want one. Closest is probably the CBO reports which are all achieved on their website

R. Charan Pagan on

The Washington Post did a pretty good job of breaking down how the ACA is funded: on

Great, thank you!



Name Brand on

It means the money saved by the ACA is then used to fund the subsidies. The more money the ACA saves the more money the Government can spend on assisting the less fortunate pay for their coverage. It’s as simple as balancing our own budgets. Think of it as going to the store with coupons as opposed as not using coupons. Using myself as an example. I use coupons everytime I shop, and each trip I can save between $15 to $30 using coupons, as opposed to paying $15 to $30 more if I handn’t used the coupons. That leaves me with $15 or $30 extra money that I can then use to pay a bill. The more I save at the store, the more I can spend elsewhere. Same as the ACA. The more money the ACA can save, the more it can spend on assistance. The more people on the ACA, the lower the overall healthcare costs will be. Premiums may fluctuate (just as they have every single year) so it’s easy to be convinced that it costs more. However, you may not notice that hospitals and doctors are charging less than before, and unless you ask for an itemized bill, you wont know that hospitals now charge average $2 less per bandage than before (not a lot i know but when you multiply that $2 by the 4 million bandages used each day thats a savings of $8 million dollars per day just on bandages.) I know this answer was long and tedious and I know it still may not be crystal clear to some, but hopefully it helped at least a few people.

Sheryl on

This has talked around the question and provided no answers to the question. This whole site contains no facts.

Paul Williams on

Is Medicare Health Insurance paid for by Social Security.. Is Obama care paid for by Social security. on

Not really. We borrow to meet the budget deficit and we borrow via bonds, not social security. Then taxes pay back money we borrowed. I’m not saying this is fully wrong, I see where you are going with this, but not really. Here is an article describing a similar claim:

M on

I think people should have a say in terms of where they want their money spent. If you don’t want to WASTE you $$ on OBAMA CARE you shouldn’t have to. Let’s have that money go somewhere else! I’d rather that money go to my future childrens school system than waste it elsewhere. I’ve seen ppl that live in the PROJECTS (aka section 8) drive around in BMW’s, AUDI’s & MERCEDES’S !!! Like really ??? wow you know how to distribute ur $$ well…

CC on

Your taxes go to pay the federal debt. The federal debt is controlled by congress. The only way you can have a say in how your taxes are spent is to have your congressman represent you during budget talks and voting on bills and laws. Unfortunately congress is busy trying to decide things like the designs of new state quarters. Obamacare has been around for 6 years. You’d think if congress had a better idea they would of replaced it already.

Angel Contreras on

“Mix of TAXES (our money) and COST CONTROLLING MEASURES (sound like dictating the market) which CURB the growth of pre-aca spending (who’s pre-aca spending? The taxpayer’s or the Government usage of the taxpayer’s monies?). It is FUNDED (paid for) by Federal and State TAX DOLLARS (our money again). The term “self funding” means that it was created “in a way” that the money saved (one can only assume this savings comes from the so called “cost controls” aka decision making rooted in unknown assumed criteria of a group of bureaucrats rather than the personal decision making of the people who are spending the money out of their pockets on premiums) was then used to fund the program.” Result? Premiums up exponentially. Subsidies (which folks are pretty much forced to apply for) go up, yet that money comes from the TAX payer. So they take my money and, rather than let me spend it as I prefer, offer it back to me to spend on inflated policies that would have been more reasonable allowing the market to work unencumbered by the government mandates and “cost controls”.
This program has been silly from the get go. Before it, my premiums (without the subsidies and controls) were 50% less than what I am paying WITH the subsidies applied. But of course, what do I know, the government always knows better, no?

Jim on

Really? I think you could still have your old, better and cheaper insurance. The government doesn’t compel you to buy different insurance than you already have. You’re just required to have medical insurance, not a particular policy. Why don’t you get the insurance you want? The government doesn’t know better, like you said.

VMA331 on

Obamacare never should have happened in the first place.
Health insurance isn’t a right, it’s a commodity.and shouldn’t be required by the federal government to have.

Claude Balls on

Nobody gets to pick and choose how ” their” tax money gets spent. You pay tax and it gets spent by the government. You obviously dislike poor people and object to tax money going to somebody besides you. I’m the same way. That’s why I object to the cheap loans the government gives to people buying a house, and the way their subsidized mortgage payments are not taxed, and all the money it hands out to “rescue” those same people when they can’t make those payments, AND the gazillion dollars spent to rescue the banks that made those subsidized and government insured liar loans.
And, oddly enough, those people really do drive expensive cars.

ObamaCare was a great deal for insurance companies with a side effect of providing medical insurance to millions of your fellow countrymen.
There isn’t anybody who doesn’t “deserve” it.

Alyssa Virker on

The answer would be more helpful if it included more specificities. Additional details and facts would provide further clarity. As I’m not thoroughly familiar with the program funding process, I would like to have learned and understood more.

Caryl Sawyer on

There are working people using ACA, so stop implying only welfare recipients. I worked in the worst projects in America, the majority of the inhabitants had no cars at all. I am not a bleeding-heart social worker, but law enforcement. I have health insurance and it has not risen since ACA was enacted. That’s all I need to know about ACA.

Mitch on

Thank you.
My wife finally got health insurance just in time to get diagnosed with very advanced cancer, which was ignored at the free clinic she used to go to for medical care. So, instead of dying, she’s getting treatment, surgery and chemotherapy that’s kept her alive for a year, so far. That’s what I know about the ACA — my wife’s life was saved by it. The cancer isn’t gone yet, though. She’s still in treatment, still fighting. Taking it away means condemning her to death. And yet, that is just exactly what so many republicans are bragging they intend to do.

Jorge on


Offset by what taxes? Increased taxes?

Cost controlling? Is this why our armed forces have aging materiel; can’t fly all our planes?

Please, this explanation is self-serving and incomplete.

And, subsidizing ACA — ACA is as much a Ponxi scheme as there ever was.

Daniel Heredia on

I heard Obamacare is paid with the a portion of social security tax’s. What other taxes are funding Obamacare? on

It isn’t directly funded like that, the economy is actually way more complex than this. All revenue in offsets all spending, when they balance budgets they don’t just balance healthcare against healthcare or anything like that. That said, many taxes go to the big three of healthcare Medicaid, Medicare, and ObamaCare. Consider this article:

Ruth Collins on

I would like to know the answer to this as well. Everything in Washington DC is hidden, covered up, and kept from us as taxpayers.
The people on welfare were all given cell phones and a service plan. It was months after this was passed when the information was supplied to the rest of the country. A cell phone, please. on

The “Obamaphone” thing is an ongoing program that low income people are eligible for. They weren’t given a cellphone, they had to apply for the program and choose between a cell phone and wifi with a home phone.

If you are poor, go sign up for your cell phone. If not, then, sort of doesn’t have much to do with the ACA.

Charles Van Wormer on

Republicans keep saying that the ACA will eventually “explode”. Is this true and if so why? on

It isn’t really true, but to the extent it is, this page explains:

Otherwise just google “death spiral myth”.

Ruth on

On NPR this morning out of Philadelphia, they said that we have ordered insurance companies to cut the costs of Obamacare premiums twenty percent to make it affordable for low income families. At the end of the year the federal government pays that twenty percent to the insurance companies in a lump sum.

Where is that money coming from and if that is the case, why were obamacare premiums doubling to people insured there? on

I think you misunderstood the story. If I’m not mistaken, you are talking about the way cost sharing subsidies work and Trump threatening not to fund them. So see this link:

Luolrn on

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