May 11th, 2010
09:24 PM ET

CBO doubles some health care spending estimates

The Congressional Budget Office has doubled the estimated increases of some costs resulting from the sweeping health care reform legislation passed this year.

A CBO report sent Tuesday to Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, said the estimated rise in discretionary spending - which is spending requiring annual congressional authorization - over the first 10 years under the new legislation could exceed $115 billion.

On March 11, exactly two months earlier, the non-partisan CBO reported the estimated increase for discretionary spending could exceed $55 billion.

Douglas Elmendorf, the CBO director, said the latest report "updates and expands" on the previous report. He noted that assessing effects on discretionary spending was speculative because such appropriations require congressional action, and could be larger or smaller than initially anticipated.

The health care legislation was estimated by CBO to cost $940 billion over 10 years and reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over the same period.

Increased costs in discretionary spending would not necessarily offset the estimated deficit reduction. Congress requires most discretionary spending to have available resources under so-called "pay to go" rules.

According to the CBO report, the estimated higher costs would come from increased administrative expenses for the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Health and Human Services, as well as grants and other programs contained in the health care bill.

In a letter to Lewis, Elmendorf said some of the increased cost estimates in the May report included extensions of existing spending authorizations not included in the March report, as well as future discretionary spending for initially mandatory grants.

Spending for some specific programs not included in the March report, such as provisions of the Indian Health Care Improvement Reauthorization and Extension Act and the National Health Services Corp., also are in the May report, according to Elmendorf.

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Filed under: Health care reform • Politics
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. who cares

    I anyone surprised that the cost is projected to be higher than the original estimate? Really? This was never about healthcare it was about control of the healthcare industry. It's a power grab by the administration to control the people of this country and secure power over them. They could care less about your health. Wake up America.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    I am still waiting to see what insurance will have to be carried to meet the goverment mandate, will hair implants be required in my policy, the more items included in a policy the higher the price.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. shepp45

    I am so shocked that you don't see anyone from the left shooting there month off on how it will not cost more! So they lied from step one. All I can say is good by dems 2010 and see you Obama 2012

    May 12, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Al

    “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

    May 12, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. Alpha Dog

    I am shocked that so many folks doubt the great one, bho. Don't you know that he and his band of crooks will miraculously suspend the law of supply and demand and deliver better quality healthcare to all Americans, make health insrance available to 30 million more Americans (not to mention the 10mm+ folks he intends to give amesty to), enable insurance to be provided to the previously uninsurable and reduce the cost of healthcare and health insurance? Every American who fell for that line of garbage should be deported immediately and replaced with folks who have just a lick of common sense. Each and every politician that either bought into or advocated that nonsense must be removed from office. Hang 'em high!

    May 12, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    Every thinking person in America KNOWS we have been had by this Dem congress as per Health Care/ Health Insurance what ever you want to call it REFORM! Dems & Rinos are going DOWN because you can only get elected if
    1) You are in a safe district
    2) You will join Americans in Defunding & Repealing this monstrosity!

    May 12, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dick Tuck

    Of course they lied to us. Just look in their Marxist playbook.. it says just tell 'em ANYTHING to get them to go along. I remember when Messiah told us we could "cover everyone" with what we were spending now. My has THAT changed.

    Too bad for them that the middle class, who ALWAYS pays the freight, caught on and is goping to clean house in November. BTW looks like the Brits got there FRIST this time. Lets kick out a few RINOs, as well, those who picked a party based on how it would help them get their snouts in the trough, rather than any meaningfull goals other than "doing well". Ever seen a POOR congressperson?

    May 12, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    BTW as per the original CBO numbers
    1) Congress & the Prez didn't like them
    2) Prez has head of THE NON PARTISAN CBO come visit him in his WH Office
    3) Next set of NUMBERS make Prez & Dem congress go LIKEY LIKEY

    Now this Mofo wants to tell you what you MUST eat? Tell him & his Gorilla of a wife to go F Demselves!

    May 12, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. bigdoglv

    I found out yesterday that our company health benefits will increase 39% in June. Now I see this. We have been fooled by our so called leaders. We are such chumps.

    May 12, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. Greg

    I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
    GIGO-the CBO was fed a bunch of garbage numbers FROM CONGRESS, so of course the numbers they originally produced were GARBAGE. Now it's too late. They sold us a bill of 'goods' and our grandkids will be in hock to China for years.

    May 12, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Vlad

    As one the uninsured, the truth is I cost nothing to anyone, I pay my way.
    I pay for all health care out of my pocket.
    I am very healthy, have no medical issues, and have an incentive to be healthy.
    I ran the numbers, my cost out pocket is far less than I would pay for insurance AND everything I want is covered.
    The idea with this healthcare reform is to force the healthy to pay for the sick who can't/won't pay for themselves.
    The day I am forced to buy insurance is the day I set up weekly visits to every doctor I can find, get every prescription I can get, get every test available, and engage in risky behavior and not have any incentive to stay healthy.
    I will maximize my return on the healthcare TAX.
    Myself and many other will go from costing nothing to anyone but myself, to costing some for myself and huge amounts for everyone else.

    May 12, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    If it were up to me, I wouldn't treat anyone in a hospital or emergeny room that either didn't have insurance or financial resources to pay for their treatment. If they can spend money on crack, big screen TV's and the like, they can spend it on health insurance. Want to drive down the cost of healthcare, don't treat these leeches! Think about it, what did people do in the 30's before all this social crap came into being. They took care of themselves or their families took care of them, or the churchs. Want hefe to go home, don't employ him, allow him buy or rent housing, cut off schooling, and the rest of the magnet programs that bring him here. We don't have an immigrant problem. We have a homegrown problem with the people in this country who hire, house, and give these people a reason to come here in the first place. Trust me, there will be no reason to deport him; he'll take the shoe-leather express back home if he can't work, eat and get by in this country.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. FERV888

    Same guys that are telling the Financial boys and the oil boys how to run their businesses, bringing you bankruptcy to a theater near you soon.

    Hmmm--RE-ELECT NO ONE!!!!!!


    May 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Giles

    I can see November from my house!

    May 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CompletePete

    Cogito said: "Government can not make money, they can only take it form those who earn it."

    Whoa is that ever a misconception.

    On one level Cogito is right, it's the Fed that creates money and they're not technically the government. However, Fed monetary policy takes its queues from the federal governments fiscal policies.

    As the US debt burden increases and paying off those debts becomes increasingly more difficult, the Fed creates money to monetize that debt. Creating currency drives down the value of the dollar so that the debt can be service (and perhaps paid down) with cheaper dollars.

    In doing that, the purchasing power of the dollar is eroded and inflation results. This stealth tax is incurred in the higher prices we end up paying for everything...including health care.

    May 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
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