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Obama signs health care bill: Who won't be covered?

As Obama signs health care bill, attention turns to questions of coverage. In all, some 23 million Americans will still lack insurance in 2019, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.

President Barack Obama returns to the Oval Office at the White House after signing the health care reform bill. The bill will bring health care to millions of Americans, but according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate, 23 million Americans will still be without in 2019.

Larry Downing/Reuters

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The health care bill signed by President Obama Tuesday will extend medical coverage to millions of Americans who are now uninsured – but not to everyone.

Who won't get coverage under the law?

Among the still-uninsured will be illegal immigrants, plus people who choose to avoid the law's mandate to buy insurance – and pay a penalty as a result. It will also include some middle-class families who decide they can't afford coverage despite subsidies offered under the law. Depending on what insurance would cost, they may or may not owe a penalty.

Healthcare 101: What the bill means to you

Signs indicate that some 23 million Americans will lack insurance in 2019, after key provisions of the law have been in effect for as long as five or six years, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate. Meanwhile, the law would insure some 32 million people who otherwise would be uninsured in that year.

Those amount to ballpark guesses. But the estimates hint at an important general point, say health-policy experts: The law will extend an insurance net that is broad but far from universal.


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