The Corner

Shock: Obamacare Pricier Than Advertised

When it was being debated, Democrats told you ACA would cost $940 billion over ten years, because they think you’re stupid. But now, with more years of fully-bloomed Obamacare inside the ten-year budget window, the CBO is out with new cost estimates. They ain’t pretty:

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 Only next year will we get a true ten-year cost estimate, if the law isn’t overturned by the Supreme Court or repealed by then.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.

That’s right, the true ten-year cost is going to be still higher.

To me, the question has never been whether Obamacare will fail (by failing to bend the cost curve, by incurring massive per-person costs for its coverage expansion, and by foisting things like IPAB on the public). Rather, the question has been whether it will fail quickly and spectacularly enough that the political will is toward repeal, and not expansion. If it fails slowly, we’re likely to see more of it, not less.


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