Report: ObamaCare Could Top $6 Trillion Cost

Now that we’re all back after consuming copious amounts of turkey and stuffing, the issue of Obama’s national debt and the threat of socialist-style health care still loom large. The real turkey continues to be President Obama’s economic policy coupled with his insatiable appetite to devour your personal health care rights.

A new report from the libertarian Cato Institute cuts through the congressional budgetary pranks employed by Pelosi and Reid with some startling findings.

Cato reports:

Congressional Democrats are using several budget gimmicks to disguise the cost of their health care overhaul, claiming the House and Senate bills would cost only (!) about $1 trillion over 10 years. Now that critics have begun to correct for those budget gimmicks, supporters of ObamaCare are firing back.

One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019). Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”

Another gimmick pushes much of the legislation’s costs off the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance. When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax. When the government then hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending. But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates — neither as federal revenues nor federal spending. That’s a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan. And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislation’s total costs. When I correct for that gimmick, it brings total costs to roughly $2.5 trillion (i.e., $1 trillion/0.4).

Here’s where things get really ugly. TPMDC’s Brian Beutler calls “the” $2.5-trillion cost estimate a “doozy” of a “hysterical Republican whopper.” Not only is he incorrect, he doesn’t seem to realize that Gregg and I are correcting for different budget gimmicks; it’s just a coincidence that we happened to reach the same number.

When we correct for both gimmicks, counting both on- and off-budget costs over the first 10 years of implementation, the total cost of ObamaCare reaches — I’m so sorry about this — $6.25 trillion. That’s not a precise estimate. It’s just far closer to the truth than President Obama and congressional Democrats want the debate to be.

Beutler and other supporters of ObamaCare can react to this news in two ways. They can continue to deny the enormous cost of the legislation they support. Or they can question how President Obama’s health plan came to be so blessedly expensive, and how (and by whom) they were duped into thinking it wasn’t.

Considering that we know neither the Reid version or the Pelosi version of ObamaCare will actually lower health care costs or improve quality, a $6 trillion figure is staggering considering the amount of debt we’re currently incurring under President Obama. Furthermore, we will all be taxed coming and going to cover these outrageous costs in every conceivable way Barney Frank can surmise.

I am constantly disgusted to watch the same people who moaned and whined about the cost of Iraq war under President Bush wholeheartedly embrace a $6 trillion theft of wealth and personal health care rights as if it is the second coming of Christ via President Obama.

Perhaps President Obama should be concerned with retracting his failed $700 billion stimulus plan and focus on free-market solutions to let the private sector create jobs rather than working to gut one-sixth of our economy known as health care.

  • Bill Hedges

    How can anybody be surprised except a airhead. You sure don’t hear anybody here sticking up for his plan now.

    How can you give free health care to illegals and poor along with kick-backs to middle class and not widen the deficit. Right, say rich will pay everything every time. Sure. No rationing of care. Everybody gets a heart implant.

    Why pay into something and not get till 2013-2015. The whole plan spreads over time. If voters don’t smell fresh manure they can’t smell. Luckily the polls say they can smell.

    After World War 1 solders camped out across from the White House in protest because of not receiving their bonus. Compared to their tent city, a major city should emerge around the White House now.

    We should all know by now how hugh numbers were added to Medicaid roles unfunded. I wonder if that cost was thought of. It should be at least a footnote. What does that add ?
    The $250,000,000 raise for Doctors (different bill), should be a footnote. Scamming is the health care bill. We first saw the scam begin in his campaign.

    Just on principal, all quiet(those who cover up) Democrats should be kicked out of office and deported to Antarctica. With loss of heath care benefits and pensions. Their families and their families too. In old England they would all be killed. Not a bad idea for treason. ?

    What else can you call our terrorist president Hussein than a diabolical Flim Flam Man. Richard Nixon was a saint compared to this bum. The worst president of all times.

  • Bill Hedges

    Senate started debate today on heath care. They are trying to stop debate today.

  • JD

    Nate – “I am constantly disgusted to watch the same people who moaned and whined about the cost of Iraq war under President Bush wholeheartedly embrace a $6 trillion theft of wealth and personal health care rights as if it is the second coming of Christ via President Obama.”

    Funny you say that… I can only speak for myself but my original complaint was that the amount of money spent in iraq could have been spent here at home. Think about it…We could have already paid for half of this reform with Iraq dollars.

    Oddly enough, the false conservatives who whine about how much it is going to cost to fix healthcare are “ok” with spending trillions on Iraq’s healtcare and war.

    See people like me think we need to invest in our country to fix our problems before we look to fix others…

    Final note, People are confused if they think healthcare doesn’t already cost more than 6 trillion over a 10 year period. We are currently at a cost of 16.2 percent or about 10,000 dollars per person a year in the US. The only difference is conservatives are OK with handing their money over to the Blues and praying their premiums are covered or hoping they won’t deny coverage when they need it. However, let us be clear…It is still costing way over 6 trillion a decade already.

  • Bill Hedges

    JD “Funny you say that”

    You are right “Oddly enough, the false conservatives who whine about how much it is going to cost to fix healthcare are “ok” with spending trillions on Iraq’s healtcare and war

    Absolutely right. Well maybe not.

    Your President disagrees with you. Although he wanted to spend it on the other war not Iraq. Not here at home. Fox news showed him saying that back in 2008. Maybe you did not hear your to-be President say that ? Join the tea party JD. Your upset with him too.

    We could also enter into our cocoon and become isolationist Nation. Obama wants to give money to others Countries for the Global Warming Hoax. That to can be spent here. Attend those tea parties. China not giving, why are we ?

    “false conservatives”. That’s strong JD. Never seen you prove that yet. Enlighten me. Show me my errors or in general. Will you elaborate ?

    “See people like me think we need to invest in our country to fix our problems before we look to fix others…”

    I believe obama has made it politically correct to say terrorist again. So do you fill we should pull out of both wars now? Forget the stability we establish in Iraq. Fear not the terrorist. Wait here for them to come to us. Did I fairly represent your position ?

    Did President Bush do wrong saving maybe millions of people lives from AIDS ? He received a award for that. That money to could have been spent here.

    Think of all the money saved if America was another Switzerland. All that military money saved. How safe we would be. Russia can protect us or China.

    JD I keep hearing this “conservatives are OK with handing their money over to the Blues and praying their premiums are covered or hoping they won’t deny coverage when they need it.”

    Let’s consider this. With ‘Blue’ you have a contract. Say rights.

    You know what you have under government plan ? NOTHING. If government says no, you’re finished. You have no right of appeal.

    With ‘Blue’ you do.

  • Bill Hedges

    Jd

    How many links do you need that government health plan will increase health care cost. Post one it lowers, I’ll post 3 it goes up.

    Why do you think they are waiting til after next Presidental election to go into effect. You think charging for service you don’t get for years is way to get re-elected.

    If it lowered it would go into effect immediateltly. To assure his re-election.