Great news: CBO says ObamaCare will cost $115 billion more than thought

posted at 5:02 pm on May 11, 2010 by Allahpundit

Of all the slime dripping from ObamaCare, from the de facto bribes to the procedural shenanigans to the Democrats’ insane demagoguery of townhall protesters, the gaming of the CBO numbers is what bothers me most. Which, in a way, is silly. When you’re talking about sums as fantastically astronomical as $940 billion, who cares what the actual pricetag is? But that’s just it: Obama pretended to care, touting the bending o’ the cost curve and demanding that the Democrats bring in a bill below the arbitrary yet politically toxic threshold of $1 trillion. And in order to make that happen, they were willing to tell any lie and pull any accounting trick that they had to, from rigging the cost window to obscure the actual $2.5 trillion pricetag to pouring the enormous costs of “doctor fix” into a separate bill so that it wouldn’t show up in the CBO data on O-Care to pushing the bill through the House before CBO was finished running the numbers. At a moment when Americans desperately need leaders to be frank with them about the cost of entitlements and what it’ll take to restore fiscal stability, Obama gave them a new entitlement built on lie after lie after lie. That’s the legacy of his signature domestic “achievement.”

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 about $1 trillion…

The CBO released the estimates in response to a request from California Rep. Jerry Lewis, ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. A spokeswoman for Lewis said the inquiry was filed before the House voted on the bill

The CBO estimated in March that the net cost of the overhaul would be $788 billion over 10 years, but cautioned that it couldn’t make an estimate of the discretionary costs without more time and information.

Because it’s discretionary spending, Congress could theoretically decide to cut it. Ahem. Just bear in mind that the vaunted “savings” from O-Care per the CBO score before the bill was voted on was $138 billion. Practically all of that is gone now, and when you incorporate the larger-than-expected cost of “doctor fix,” it looks like we’re actually into the red by the Democrats’ own accounting standards. Who could have seen that coming, except everyone?

Meanwhile, according to a Rasmussen poll released this morning before the new CBO figures came out, the number who think O-Care will increase the deficit is at its highest level yet and approaching supermajority levels. If you think repeal or serious revision is impossible, think again.


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