GOP claims ObamaCare will cost states $118 billion in next twelve years

posted at 10:55 am on March 1, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Well, what did people think would happen when the federal government mandated a massive expansion of Medicaid?  The GOP claims today [see updates below] that the bill will come to twice as much as first estimated, hammering state budgets already in crisis mode now:

President Obama’s health care law will cost state taxpayers at least $118.04 billion through 2023, about twice the Congressional Budget Office estimate of $60 billion through 2021, Republican members of Congress said today. …

“Governors of both political parties were clear when Congress was debating the $2.6 trillion health law that they could not afford a massive expansion in Medicaid. Washington didn’t listen and plowed forward instead by putting 16 million Americans onto the Medicaid rolls to keep the federal price tag down,” said Hatch. “With this report, we see the true cost to states, who are already facing a collective $175 billion budget shortfall, of this unsustainable expansion.["]

This has long been the dirty little secret of ObamaCare.  While Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress promised health-insurance coverage for everyone without expanding the federal deficit, the programs burdened the states with mandates to expand Medicaid to cover the now-uninsured.  Ben Nelson got his Cornhusker Kickback to protect Nebraska from the financial hardship of those mandates for a few years, but otherwise Obama and the Democrats left states holding the bag for their new entitlement program.

For taxpayers, increased public costs hurt when they occur at any level.  Pushing the costs onto states may have helped Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid look better, but the program will still far outstrip its revenue when viewed comprehensively — even without the “doc fix” that changed the reimbursement schedules on which ObamaCare’s financials were built.  States will have to either hike taxes or cut their own spending to accommodate the federal mandate, which will put nearly every governor in the spot currently occupied by Scott Walker in Wisconsin at the moment, even if they don’t arrive there on their own.

There is no such thing as “free” health insurance coverage, nor unlimited public resources.  Eventually, taxpayers will pay for ObamaCare through massive tax hikes, massive reductions in other services, or both, at the state and federal levels.  The only way to avoid it is to dump ObamaCare altogether to save the states and to start over on health-sector reform by using real pricing signals to force consumers to make intelligent choices.

Update: Reader Cory M makes a good point by e-mail, which is that the Republicans reported this result from the CBO, not that the CBO has publicly issued this analysis.  The National Journal report does say that; I misunderstood it when I first read it.  I’ve corrected the headline and inserted a note to see this update at the top.

Update II: Reader and reporter Avi Selk of the Dallas News also points out that the data on which the GOP relied came from many sources, and not just the CBO or primarily the CBO.  I’ve corrected the first paragraph accordingly.


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Count It! Loves me some Commerce Clause!

Del Dolemonte on March 1, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Wow…would have been nice for this to come out BEFORE passage…or maybe it was all part of the plan…hmmmmm

SPGuy on March 1, 2011 at 10:57 AM

States should simply ignore ObamaCare … just like Obama ignore laws and federal judges orders he doesn’t like.

In fact, States should take their lands back that have been seized by the federal government and start extracting our own abundant energy reserves.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Wonder what the history books will write about how long it took the US to recover after the destructive reign of Obama?

albill on March 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

How is this a “dirty little secret” if most of us knew it but the media just refused to acknowledge it?

SKYFOX on March 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

…the bill will come to twice as much as first estimated…

You can bet that this estimate is probably low-balled as well as all government ‘estimates’ invariably are…

catmman on March 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

There is no such thing as “free”

Could have stopped right there.

WashJeff on March 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Translation: State Budgets to go before the ObamaCare Death Panels.

portlandon on March 1, 2011 at 11:02 AM

The only way to avoid it is to dump ObamaCare altogether to save the states and to start over on health-sector reform by using real pricing signals to force consumers to make intelligent choices.

The thing is: I shouldn’t be FORCED into anything.

stevezilla on March 1, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I think this is a good time for this shocker of an article.

U.S. reserves of corn have hit their lowest level in more than 15 years, reflecting tighter supplies that will lead to higher food prices in 2011. Increasing demand for corn from the ethanol industry is a major reason for the decline.

The Mega Independent on March 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

The Mega Independent on March 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Suicide. Of course the people most affected are always low income.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM

BRB, I’m going to go learn how to make arrowheads out of flint, and how to sew animal skins together.

RBMN on March 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM

The CBO reports today that the bill will come to twice as much as first estimated, hammering state budgets already in crisis mode now.

You know it almost as if the Left wants the whole system to collapse or something.

However, that cannot be the case, can it?

After all, it’s all about the children, so why not hand them an enormous debt and destroy the society, they’ll really appreciate that for sure.

Chip on March 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Math is racist.

rogerb on March 1, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Wonder what the history books will write about how long it took the US to recover after the destructive reign of Obama?

albill on March 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

If we recover.

bloviator on March 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Doh!

cmsinaz on March 1, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Funny how one doesn’t even need to know the details when he knows he is being lied to. This regime is led by a consummate liar and has zero credibility. That alone should have prevented anyone from either electing Obama or voting for his health care bill. The rest is the fine print. Woe to you, America, if you do not repent.

paul1149 on March 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

States will have to either hike taxes or cut their own spending to accommodate the federal mandate,

I’m not sure that spending cuts alone could do it, even if you cut things like primary education, state troopers and state prisons. Has anyone done such an analysis?

This is all about making others raise taxes while Dear Liar looks like such a beneficent ruler in handing out “free” health care.

rbj on March 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

You noticed every analysis is twice as much as estimated

Time to say buh bye to ocare…now

cmsinaz on March 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Math is racist.

rogerb on March 1, 2011 at 11:07 AM

What do you expect from a community organizer whose sole purpose in life is to extort money from people he perceives wrongfully hold money trees that belong to “the people.”

BuckeyeSam on March 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

The CBO is off 100% in its estimate?? Now, there’s a surprise! Isn’t this the same CBO which unashamedly kept revising the 10 year cost of Obamacare so that Sen Reid could ‘prove’ it would be ‘deficit neutral’?

Question: Why do these political hack CPA’s over at CBO still have jobs? Better yet, why does CBO still exist? It performs no real function in the real world – except to come up with imaginary numbers/forecasts to “support” the party in power

alwyr on March 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

There is no such thing as “free” health insurance coverage, nor unlimited public resources.

Bullshiite, just ask the union thugs in Wisconsin.

Bishop on March 1, 2011 at 11:14 AM

to start over on health-sector reform by using real pricing signals to force consumers to make intelligent choices.

What a load of BS. Translation: when your child is dying of cancer, forget about treatment. Those “pricing signals” will “force” you to make an “intelligent choice.”

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

No skin off Barry’s nose. The Liar in Chief will be out of office when the bill comes due.

GarandFan on March 1, 2011 at 11:16 AM

From the Headlines on the WSJ article about a recent GAO report (emphasis added):

The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances, according to a draft of the report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

I suspect that for the nitwits trained in one of these 56 programs, the feds are brainwashing them to conclude that Obamacare is a beneficial piece of legislation or the feds a doing a lousy job of teaching them to conclude that Obamacare is financial disaster.

BuckeyeSam on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Bullshiite, just ask the union thugs in Wisconsin.

Moron.

Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

How can that be? Because the “contributions” consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services.

Thus, state workers are not being asked to simply “contribute more” to Wisconsin’ s retirement system (or as the argument goes, “pay their fair share” of retirement costs as do employees in Wisconsin’ s private sector who still have pensions and health insurance). They are being asked to accept a cut in their salaries so that the state of Wisconsin can use the money to fill the hole left by tax cuts and reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

None of these icky numbers matter. Besides, they’re all Fox News Lies.

All that really matters is me making myself feel better about myself. And everyone with a heart knows that health insurance is a right.

The failures of Health Care Reform in Hawaii, Massachusetts and Tennessee are not lessons to be learned from but happened only because they didn’t have Donald Berwick, Kathleen Sebelius, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama in charge.

I don’t really care about the future beyond a couple of year anyway. That’s why we elect Planners from Elite Universities. They’ll think so I don’t have to. Being an adult is for lames.

While I’ll admit that there are some problems with Progressives (I’m a centrist!), the only real solution is doubling, tripling, and quadrupling down on their policy. It will eventually work if we just keep trying! History is old and tired…there’s nothing to be learned from the past. Everything we do is new and fresh, not like those throwback conservatives!

Besides, the solution to any problem is to confiscate the property of the evil, hate-filled, fascist, racist, bigoted, imperialist corporations and bosses, send it through Washington DC, and then spread it around to those more deserving because of Social Justice.

visions on March 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM

A local example I often use is the “free trees” that our city hands out every spring to those who want one. Sure, the price is zero for the person that takes the tree, but the program costs taxpayers $200k a year.

Economics 101.

pugwriter on March 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM

to start over on health-sector reform by using real pricing signals to force consumers to make intelligent choices.

What a load of BS. Translation: when your child is dying of cancer, forget about treatment. Those “pricing signals” will “force” you to make an “intelligent choice.”

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Just where are we going to get the money to fund that bloated bureaucracy?

Would you rather have a Democratic Efficiency Accounting Test Health panel decide things for you?

Chip on March 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Obama lied!

Pelosi lied!

Reid lied!

The Mainstream Media lied!

The Democrats lied!

Lies, lies, and more lies!


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

pilamaye on March 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM

What a load of BS. Translation: when your child is dying of cancer, forget about treatment. Those “pricing signals” will “force” you to make an “intelligent choice.”

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Hyperbolic anecdote alert.

Obama had a real opportunity to reform. Instead, he and Dems went for control. The GOP stuck around for the vote. Conservatives are accepting their medicine. But voters voted once against in November. They’ll vote against it again in 2012.

Read the WSJ article today on Romneycare.

BuckeyeSam on March 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM

U.S. reserves of corn have hit their lowest level in more than 15 years, reflecting tighter supplies that will lead to higher food prices in 2011. Increasing demand for corn from the ethanol industry is a major reason for the decline.

I think it’s time to give some credence to those “Ethanol is contributing to unrest in the Middle East” arguments tied to corn prices spiking.

teke184 on March 1, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

How can that be? Because the “contributions” consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash.
Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Bwaaa haa haaa!! What a facade. “Deferred Wages”, you really are dense.

portlandon on March 1, 2011 at 11:22 AM

***

reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Wisconsin’s problems are attributable to rampant corporate tax fraud?

BuckeyeSam on March 1, 2011 at 11:22 AM

What a load of BS. Translation: when your child is dying of cancer, forget about treatment. Those “pricing signals” will “force” you to make an “intelligent choice.”

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

If your child is dying of cancer, sell your boat, your house, your car, etc. Wait, you want to keep all your property AND save your child, right?

portlandon on March 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

You’ve got to be one of the stupidest troll here.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 11:25 AM

There are relatively easy fixes for Medicaid, -make it harder to qualify for them wrt to income and assets. They are much too lax at present, and have been allowed to become so because government by its very nature tends to grow. Obamacare followed the same pattern.

Same plan for food stamps, welfare programs, etc, etc.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Chauncey Gardener still leads the Executive Branch.

BobMbx on March 1, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Wait, you want to keep all your property AND save your child, right?

portlandon on March 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Since Fins wants all property to be communal, it’ll just take it’s neighbors property and sell it.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

You’ve got to be one of the stupidest troll here.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Don’t be so hasty. The competition is pretty tough.

pugwriter on March 1, 2011 at 11:29 AM

How can that be? Because the “contributions” consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash.

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

All this article you clipped states is that all pay and benefits are considered part of ones wages. That would be the ideal way to view things. INstead of saying I make $60,000, the company picks up $7500 of my health insurance, $3500 of my SocSec, $900 of my Medicare, $600 of my unemployment insurance, and $2500 towards my 401(k); just say I make $75,000 and I have to pay for everything myself.

WashJeff on March 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Is it just me, but I’m finding Grow Fins to be seriously ‘out of touch’ on every subject he touches upon.

alwyr on March 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Liberal Lexicon:

Free = Something I get that someone else pays for

Conservative Lexicon:

Free = The “someone else” noted above

BobMbx on March 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Ed, you may want to talk to the person in charge of the ads on the site.

Some of the ads are aggressive to the point where it doesn’t want to allow me to leave the page.

The one big offender, per my browser, is “iskucoeksc.cdn.tinycdn.com”.

teke184 on March 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM

alwyr on March 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Grow Fins is an empty head with a keyboard.

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM

All this article you clipped states is that all pay and benefits are considered part of ones wages. That would be the ideal way to view things. INstead of saying I make $60,000, the company picks up $7500 of my health insurance, $3500 of my SocSec, $900 of my Medicare, $600 of my unemployment insurance, and $2500 towards my 401(k); just say I make $75,000 and I have to pay for everything myself.

WashJeff on March 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

That’s how it should work. Pay a higher salary and let people be responsible for their own health care and retirement.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

How can that be? Because the “contributions” consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash.

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Then why is the tax consequence completely different from “deferred wages” – to the tune of an entire IRS Section called 403 (b), as opposed to 401(k) or 437 (b) plans???

You do know anyone in a 403 (b) can invest, pretax – $5,000 more a year in total cap than a 401(k), right? And guess where the majority of that contribution comes from when comparing a 403(b) and a 401(k)…

Odie1941 on March 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Moron.
Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Man, you burned me, that was like a 5th degree burn. I am completely burned. Yep. Burned.

Bishop on March 1, 2011 at 11:38 AM

alwyr on March 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Grow Fins is an empty head with a keyboard.

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM

I don’t know what a Balrog of Morgoth is, but I find myself agreeing with one on this point.

pugwriter on March 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

That’s how it should work. Pay a higher salary and let people be responsible for their own health care and retirement.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

All employers would be wise to format employee paychecks to show their true salary

And while I am at it, gas stations should present to the customer how much tax they are paying per gallon.

WashJeff on March 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Hey hey hey, we’re forgetting all the revenue the states will make up from high speed rail!!

s/ (just in case)

Tim Zank on March 1, 2011 at 11:41 AM

What a load of BS. Translation: when your child is dying of cancer, forget about treatment. Those “pricing signals” will “force” you to make an “intelligent choice.”
Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Wait until it’s you on that bed and the doctor enters the room to tell you that sorry, the government has denied your request for advanced treatment. You will of course accept that because, well because the cross-referenced chart doesn’t lie.

Bishop on March 1, 2011 at 11:42 AM

If the premise was to give free healthcare to another 17million, why didnt they just force them on states, and paid for the gap with 100 billion? Instead of creating a 2.5k pages , 3 trillian boondoggle?

anikol on March 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I don’t know what a Balrog of Morgoth is, but I find myself agreeing with one on this point.

pugwriter on March 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Its a really bad dude in Lord of The Rings; Fellowship of the Ring.

BobMbx on March 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM

The real b*tch of this is that a heck of a lot of Medicaid costs go toward treatment of illegal aliens.

rockmom on March 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM

What a load of BS. Translation: when your child is dying of cancer, forget about treatment. Those “pricing signals” will “force” you to make an “intelligent choice.”
Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Luckily, you won’t have to make that decision. It’ll be made by the Death Panel.

Mmmmm….mmmmmm…..mmmmmmm…Barack Hussein Obama

BobMbx on March 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Every governor and state legislator should be reading up on this subject. Half of the states are close to declaring bankruptcy and the other half are looking in the rear view mirror, the one that says things are closer than they appear. If you can’t afford to pay your bills now and don’t have the guts like Walker, what do you plan on doing when the dough runs out.

Kissmygrits on March 1, 2011 at 11:47 AM

The real b*tch of this is that a heck of a lot of Medicaid costs go toward treatment of illegal aliens the future Dem voting base.

rockmom on March 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM

FIFY

BobMbx on March 1, 2011 at 11:47 AM

While Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress promised health-insurance coverage for everyone without expanding the federal deficit, the programs burdened the states with mandates to expand Medicaid to cover the now-uninsured.

Not to mention causing “deficits” in taxpayers pocketbooks as they get taxed up the wazoo to fund this gawdawful program. These taxes are already part of the plan and not in the least bit hypothetical (income, cap gains, loss of deductions and so forth for those who dare make over $200 thou a year as an individual or $250 as a couple). These are economy killing tax hikes.

Buy Danish on March 1, 2011 at 11:51 AM

I don’t know what a Balrog of Morgoth is, but I find myself agreeing with one on this point.

pugwriter on March 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Its a really bad dude in Lord of The Rings; Fellowship of the Ring.

BobMbx on March 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Oh, okay. The only one I read was The Hobbit which, so I hear, wasn’t as good as any of the trilogy books. I remember enjoying the Hobbit though. Thirty-some years ago.

Sorry, didn’t mean to go off topic…Obama is a buffoon. ;)

pugwriter on March 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Another more detailed link detailing Obamacare tax hikes here.

Buy Danish on March 1, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Sorry, didn’t mean to go off topic…Obama is a buffoon cave troll. ;)

pugwriter on March 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM

The Hobbit is the prelude to LOTR. The movies do a good job of getting around links to The Hobbit, but the whole story is much better if you’ve read The Hobbit.

BobMbx on March 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Wonder what the history books will write about how long it took the US to recover after the destructive reign of Obama?

albill on March 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

99.9% of “historians” are Democrats, which means most of them are dishonest. Does that answer your question?

Del Dolemonte on March 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

What a load of BS.

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

LOL, like that steaming heap you dumped on the Koch thread in Headlines? Tell us again the real URL for that laughter inducing “cite” you posted.

Del Dolemonte on March 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM

If the premise was to give free healthcare to another 17million, why didnt they just force them on states, and paid for the gap with 100 billion? Instead of creating a 2.5k pages , 3 trillian boondoggle?

anikol on March 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Wrong premise; Obamacare was about a Cloward & Piven path to single-payer, which is about socialism, control, and greedy unions.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Obama is determined to destroy America. Consistent with one of America’s main enemies, Islam, Obama and his toadies have no problem lying to “infidels,” which include in their minds everyone not in their inner circle.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 1, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Kind of like the idea that we in the private sector will have our company contributions added to our gross and taxed on it. Except completely different, right?

Koa on March 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM

What really bothers me is that Obama is getting a free pass for his failed stimulous. If any Republican was the President while the unemployment rate went up from 7% to 10%, and remained above 9% for almost 18 months, that person would be constantly barraged with stories about his failure to lower the unemployment. Night after night, we would have the stories about how Joe the Plumber can no longer find a job and his 12 kids are starving. And the President of the United States doesn’t care about Joe; he only cares about tax cuts for his wealthy friends and his parties with heads of state. If only we had a Democrat who really cared about the people like Joe…blah blah blah…

If you don’t believe me, just look at the difference in the media coverage of the fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. With Bush, we got nightly updates on the fallen fighters while Bush continued to lie to the American people…

I am tired of complaining about the media bias, but it is still a real problem…

RedSoxNation on March 1, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Two great stories today.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/03/01/gao-finds-massive-waste-duplication/

GAO FOUND over $500 billion in waste in the FEDGOV but Fox found over $1.5 TRILLION in waste!!!

But we can only cut $60 billion House GOP? really?

PappyD61 on March 1, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Translation: when your child is dying of cancer, forget about treatment. Those “pricing signals” will “force” you to make an “intelligent choice.”

Grow Fins on March 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

See, if my child gets cancer, the comprehensive healthcare policy I’m paying for will cover whatever needs to be covered. Do ya wanna know why? Because I made the intelligent choice to buy it. And I used pricing signals, thereby forcing an insurance company to compete for my business. This is what we call logic.

Oh, you mean you think I should make that choice for you as well, while thanking you for the opportunity to pay for your (admitted….see above) lack of intelligence, thereby enslaving me to your whims? Are you insisting on being my “master”? Moron.

runawayyyy on March 1, 2011 at 2:20 PM

If your child is dying of cancer, sell your boat, your house, your car, etc. Wait, you want to keep all your property AND save your child, right?
portlandon on March 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Your inane response is no less lame than Grow Fins’ ideas. If people could purchase high deductible insurance in a truly free market, sold across state lines to keep prices competitive and with minimum coverage mandates, and have medical savings accounts that build up over a lifetime, there would be no need to become homeless when a family member becomes ill.

Buy Danish on March 1, 2011 at 2:24 PM