A not-at-all surprising admission from President Obama’s budget release on Wednesday. We already knew that the administration’s mishandling of the whole situation was going to cost us, but Bloomberg reports on the more exact figures:
The $1.3 trillion U.S. health-care system overhaul is getting more expensive and will initially accomplish less than intended.
Costs for a network of health-insurance exchanges, a core part of the Affordable Care Act, have swelled to $4.4 billion for fiscal 2012 and 2013 combined, and will reach $5.7 billion in 2014, according to the budget President Barack Obama yesterday sent to Congress. That spending would be more than double initial projections, even though less than half the 50 U.S. states are participating.
The unanticipated spending is a consequence of an ambitious timetable dictated by Congress and a complex new way of offering people medical coverage, say analysts, lobbyists and administration officials. …
“Once you’re behind schedule, the way you solve problems is you write checks,” said Doug Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office director who is now president of the American Action Forum, which has opposed the health law.
The federal government was overly optimistic with their budgeting scenarios, say what? As HHS Secretary Sebelius mentioned the other day, they were really, truly hoping that some of those stubborn Republican-led states would drop all the political opposition after President Obama was reelected and volunteer to help them out with the exchanges — but why, why would you ever plan off of that scenario? They offered to build the exchanges if states declined, and now they’ve got all or part of 34 states’ exchanges on their hands. Shocker.
They’re delaying where they can, but at least the basic requirements of the health law need to be up and running by this January 1st. I foresee more check-writing in the near future.