By Peter Suderman
Remember when health care reform was supposed to cost "around $900 billion?" That's what Obama promised, anyway. And sure, the final cost estimate for the law came in at about $950 billion—close enough for government work, I suppose—but a new report from the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the law will actually require about $115 billion in additional discretionary spending, putting the official price tag well over $1 trillion. Here's Politico's summary:
Congressional Budget Office estimates released Tuesday predict the health care overhaul will likely cost about $115 billion more in discretionary spending over ten years than the original cost projections.
The additional spending — if approved over the years by Congress — would bring the total estimated cost of the overhaul to over $1 trillion.
...The Congressional Budget Office expects the federal agencies to spend $10 billion to $20 billion over 10 years on administrative costs to implement the overhaul. The CBO expects Congress to spend an additional $105 billion over 10 years to fund discretionary programs in the overhaul.
And remember: That original $950 billion sticker, which theoretically tallies up the first decade of costs, only counted 6 years of full-swing spending. And it ignored the cost of the insurance mandate, which, if counted, probably would have added an additional trillion dollars or more to the total cost. But as they say at The Onion, "If you love America, you throw money in its hole!"