TheHill.com - CBO: Healthcare bill exceeds $1 trillion
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report late Monday estimating the cost of a leading healthcare reform proposal at more than $1 trillion, but that figure looked only at a portion of the bill.
The analysis falls just within the most expensive cost scenario sketched out by Democratic leaders in recent days, but does not include an estimate for a highly contentious government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers.But CBO officials warned the cost of the Democratic plan would likely increase if lawmakers expanded the eligibility of Medicaid or otherwise subsidized health insurance for people earning below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, or $22,000 for a family of four.
Henry Aaron, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the estimated expense will make it that much tougher for Democrats to pass.
“I think they’re setting themselves up for a hellacious summer of negotiations,” Aaron said in an interview shortly before CBO released its report. “They’re trying to find ways to pay for a bill that makes a major dent in the ranks of the uninsured [and that] is going to require some combination of tax increases and spending cuts — nearly all of which are political mine fields.”Its going to cost more than what law makers are saying.The 10-year cost of reform could approach $2 trillion if the projections are made from the date that proposals are fully implemented. While the projected cost for a new system may reach $1.5 trillion for 2010-2019, it could run significantly higher for 2013-2022, as healthcare costs rise steadily each year.