Posted on this blog, March 19, 2010:
To show you how far down the rabbit hole we’ve gone, Democrats were pleased yesterday when the Congressional Budget Office gave the two ObamaCare bills … a combined cost of “only” $940,000,000,000 over 10 years (see page 8). But as you already know if you’ve been paying attention to this blog, there’s more here than the headline number suggests. …
If we begin the 10-year clock for this bill in 2014, and assume the 7.5 percent growth in annual gross costs which the CBO applies in 2018 and 2019 would continue in later years, the cost from 2014-2023 would be $2 trillion. … Even if we are more charitable, and begin counting next year rather than this year with the same assumptions as above, the 10-year cost from 2011-2020 would be $1.2 trillion. (links and emphasis original)
From Philip Klein, writing at the Washington Examiner yesterday:
President Obama’s national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law. …
Today, the CBO released new projections from 2013 extending through 2022, and the results are as critics expected: the ten-year cost of the law’s core provisions to expand health insurance coverage has now ballooned to $1.76 trillion. That’s because we now have estimates for Obamacare’s first nine years of full implementation, rather than the mere six when it was signed into law. Only next year will we get a true ten-year cost estimate, if the law isn’t overturned by the Supreme Court or repealed by then. Given that in 2022, the last year available, the gross cost of the coverage expansions are $265 billion, we’re likely looking at about $2 trillion over the first decade, or more than double what Obama advertised. (emphasis added)
The only way in which Obamacare critics were wrong in our protests that the law would cost far more than advertised was that we underestimated the damage, by about $40 billion from 2014-2023 if the cost figure continues to grow at the minimum 6 percent annually CBO is now using. That would make it $2.04 trillion during those 10 years.
This is in part because, as Obamacare opponents explained at length at the time, congressional Democrats had rigged the score by beginning the tax increases before the spending kicked in. That made the 10-year figures both for the gross cost and the deficit “savings” look better than they would have if we considered 10 years of Obamacare fully implemented.
But it’s also because, as I’ve explained here recently, the estimates were faulty. Take three years in which there’s an overlap between the two estimates: 2017-2019. The new estimate for the total costs during that time span is now $147 billion, or 30 percent, higher than the original estimate just two years ago. The new estimate for “savings” has fallen by $314 billion, or 63 percent.
The result is that the effect on the federal budget from 2017-2019 has gone from a projected “savings” of $8 billion to an increased deficit of $453 billion.
And it’s only going to get worse in future years, if the new projections hold. That’s because they see the revenue portions holding steady while the expenses keep going up, up, up.
Oh — and this fiscal worsening is taking place while the projected increase in the number of people who are insured by 2019 thanks to Obamacare has fallen by 1 million.
What a disaster. Unless the Supreme Court bails us out, repealing this law and replacing it with a more market-oriented solution is critical.