Waxman says it’ll cost $1.4 billion, Tom Suehs says it’s more like, oh, $27 billion. Luckily, cost projections for giant health-care entitlements rarely lowball the actual amount, so I’m thinking Hammering Hank has to be feeling pretty good about this one.
Senators — mostly, but not only, Democrats — immediately raised questions about the estimate on numerous grounds, including the time frame it covers (it starts in 2014, since state costs are expected to start growing then) and the assumptions it makes.
For example, Suehs’ estimate includes the cost if state lawmakers decide to continue and expand a rate increase for doctors who treat Medicaid patients.
With 2.1 million more people expected to come onto Texas’ Medicaid program in the wake of reform, Suehs said ensuring enough doctors who’ll take Medicaid patients becomes an even bigger issue. He also assumes the same rate would be given to doctors in the Children’s Health Insurance Program…
Suehs said he chose the time frame because lawmakes must make policy decisions for the long term.
As you’ll recall, the Lords of Progress in Congress were craftier about hiding their own rate increases for doctors in order to keep them out of the final fraudulent CBO cost estimate. And as you’ll also recall, the NYT recently warned us about enormous new expenses related to O-Care for states with huge uninsured populations, with California and Texas explicitly named. Just part of the reason why 64 percent of adults and 68 percent of independents say ObamaCare will end up costing too much.
Here’s video of Suehs’s testimony today. Watch to the end or you’ll miss the money quote.