Free Markets, Free People


ObamaCare–estimates of cost off by $50 billion a year

Even before this particular find, costs for the implementation of ObamaCare were shown to be higher than doing nothing.  Now we learn that in addition to that, there’s an additional $50 billion a year cost that will come due:

Federal payments required by President Barack Obama’s health care law are being understated by as much as $50 billion per year because official budget forecasts ignore the cost of insuring many employees’ spouses and children, according to a new analysis. The result could cost the U.S. Treasury hundreds of billions of dollars during the first ten years of the new health care law’s implementation.

“The Congressional Budget Office has never done a cost-estimate of this [because] they were expressly told to do their modeling on single [person] coverage,” said Richard Burkhauser in a telephone interview Monday. Burkhauser is an economist who teaches in Cornell University’s department of policy analysis and management. On Monday the National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper on the subject that Burkhauser co-authored with colleagues from Cornell and Indiana University.

Employees and employers can use the rules to their own advantage, he said.  “A very large number of workers” will be able to apply for federal subsidies, “dramatically increasing the cost” of the law, he said.

I’m sure that will come as an “unexpected” surprise to those who preached the entire point of implementing ObamaCare was to “bend the cost curve down”.  Now it appears it will not only fail to do that, but instead bend that curve upward.

Bottom line:

In May a congressional committee set the accounting rules that determine who will qualify for federal health care subsidies under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. When the committee handed down the rules to the Congressional Budget Office, its formula excluded the health care costs of millions of workers’ spouses and children. The result was a final estimate for 2010 that hides those costs.

“This is a very important paper,” Heritage Foundation health care expert Paul Winfree told TheDC. These hidden costs, he said, “will almost certainly add to the deficit, contrary to what the Congressional Budget Office and others have estimated.”

Your incompetent and clueless government at work.

And we wonder why we have such an outrageous deficit and debt problem?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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12 Responses to ObamaCare–estimates of cost off by $50 billion a year

  • “You gotta pass it to see what’s in it!” Unbelievable another 1/2 a trillion dollars over the next 10 years well done Mr. President.

  •   Gee, it’s a good thing Ms. “We’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it” Pelosi wasn’t navigate ing the Titanic…. They wouldn’t have hit an iceberg, they’d have hit Iceland….

    • No they would have hit the jetties before ever getting to open ocean.   And then blamed it on someone else.

      •   Too true. At the majority of the passengers would have had a fighting chance, unlike “We the People”.

        • Too true. At (least) the majority of the passengers would have had a fighting chance, unlike “We the People”.

          My apologies for the typo…..

  • http://reason.com/archives/1993/01/01/the-medicare-monster (NOTE: This article is from 1993.)
    At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $ 12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was a supposedly “conservative” estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.
    This is a mere bagatelle compared with “conservative” projections for the next generation. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare will cost $223 billion by 1997. Constance Homer, deputy secretary of Health and Human Services, warns that “by the year 2003, at the current rates, we will be spending more on Medicare than we do on Social Security.”
    What’s it now?, $490billion?
    Anyone want to wager ObamaCare doesn’t end up in the $$Quadrillions? (Brazillians! :-)

  • And these guys are bitching about S&P having wrong numbers?

  • Your incompetent and clueless government at work.

    Well, that is ONE theory…
    The other is a little darker.

  • McQ- And we wonder why we have such an outrageous deficit and debt problem?

    me againAnd these guys are bitching about S&P having wrong numbers?


    I suggest that we got downgraded not only because of the debt, deficit, and apparent lack of will / ability to get things under control, but also the outright dishonesty and shenanigans associated with our budget process.  Congress and the White House use accounting tricks and definitions that would make Bernie Madoff and ENRON execs see red; S&P may have taken this into account.  “Oh, sure: the US government will CLAIM that it’s cutting the deficit by $X trillions… over ten years.  But we know darned well that (A) they’re counting cuts in the rate of GROWTH as ‘savings’, and they’re probably lying about the numbers, anyway.  Hell, you can’t trust a word these guys say.  AA+?  BBB is closer to the mark.”

    •   The problem with the fuzzy math is that it is apparently based on 4-5% economic growth over the same period.  At the same time, the annointed one iis doing every regulatory thing he can do to strangle what pathetic growth we currently have, virtually insuring we will not see growth in the 4-5% range for the forseeable future. God forbid Americans not wake up and throw this buffoon (and the rest of the gang that can’t shoot straight) out of power.

  • My first thoughts were “Only $50 billion?”. 

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