Obamacare at Three Years: Increasing Cost Estimates

by Alyene Senger

Over the last three years, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has revised its cost estimates for Obamacare’s new entitlements—the Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies—many times, and they have more than doubled since 2010.

The first estimate in 2010 pegged the gross cost at $898 billion from 2010 to 2019. But this projection was deceptive, because it included only six years of spending on these provisions, since they don’t begin until 2014.

However, CBO’s latest estimate in February 2013 provides a more accurate cost projection, finally encompassing 10 years of full spending. The 11-year estimate places spending on these provisions at $1.85 trillion from 2013 to 2023.

It is likely that these costs will continue to increase in the future, as will the tax provisions that help pay for this new spending.

At a time when our nation is $16 trillion in debt and running annual trillion-dollar budget deficits, spending over $1.85 trillion on Obamacare’s new entitlements is beyond reckless.

Alyene Senger is a researcher at Heritage Institute’s Center for Health Policy Studies. This post was first published in The Foundry.

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