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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hot Off The Presses! CBO Increases Estimated Cost Of Obamacare by $115 Billion

Hot off the Presses, the Congressional Budget Office  released  a revised estimate of Obamacare, adding  about $115 billion more in discretionary spending over ten years than the original cost projections which were already suspect. The additional spending would bring the total estimated cost of the overhaul to about $1 trillion.

The new CBO estimate  California Rep. Jerry Lewis (who is not loved in France like the other one), ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. A spokeswoman for Lewis said the inquiry was filed before the House voted on the bill. Back in February Lewis asked Pelosi to delay the vote until the CBO estimated the discretionary spending. But we know that the most powerful woman in the world doesn't care about the cost.
“[L]arge sums of discretionary spending in both the House and Senate versions of the health care reform bills have not yet been included in estimates by the CBO, rendering it impossible to make informed decisions regarding the outcome of this legislation,” .
This is how the CBO Director explained the new costs on his blog.

This information updates and expands upon the analysis of potential discretionary spending under PPACA that CBO issued on March 15, 2010. By their nature all such potential effects on discretionary spending are subject to future appropriation actions, which could result in greater or smaller costs than the sums authorized by the legislation.

CBO does not have a comprehensive estimate of all of the potential discretionary costs associated with PPACA, but we can provide information on the major components of such costs. Those discretionary costs fall into three general categories:
  • The costs that will be incurred by federal agencies to implement the new policies established by PPACA, such as administrative expenses for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service for carrying out key requirements of the legislation.
  • Explicit authorizations for future appropriations for a variety of grant and other program spending for which the act identifies the specific funding levels it envisions for one or more years. (Such cases include provisions where a specified funding level is authorized for an initial year along with the authorization of such sums as may be necessary for continued funding in subsequent years.)
  • Explicit authorizations for future appropriations for a variety of grant and other program spending for which no specific funding levels are identified in the legislation. That type of provision generally includes legislative language that authorizes the appropriation of “such sums as may be necessary,” often for a particular period of time.
CBO estimates that total authorized costs in the first two categories probably exceed $115 billion over the 2010-2019 period. We do not have an estimate of the potential costs of authorizations in the third category.
This morning I ran a story about how the new requirement that kids have to stay on their parents health care plans until they are 26 will raise premiums nearly 1 percent higher for employer plans according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The post ended with these words. Sadly we are not done. Most of the warnings made about this health care bill that was rammed down the throats of the public have come true.  But watch out, there are more to come.

I just didn't think that more would come so soon.

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