Surprise! Health Care Bill “Likely to Top” $1 Trillion “Budget”

Obama’s promised “unofficial budget” of $1 trillion over 10 years for his health care overhaul has already been busted, according to this AP story today:

Spending not accounted for in its original estimates could bring the total price tag for the healthcare reform law to more than $1 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Good news for bureaucrats and supporters of the police state:

Federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will likely spend $10 billion to $20 billion over the next 10 years to implement the law, CBO director Doug Elmendorf said in a letter to Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), who requested the revised estimate.

Note that Rep. Lewis’s request had been made before the House voted on the bill. Having failed to receive the requested information, he wrote Speaker Pelosi:

“[L]arge sums of discretionary spending in both the House and Senate versions of the health care reform bills have not yet been included in estimates by the CBO, rendering it impossible to make informed decisions regarding the outcome of this legislation,” Lewis wrote in a February letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking her to postpone votes until the discretionary spending analysis was complete.

With this much error four years before the bill’s major components even go into effect, one’s imagination boggles at what’s ahead:

Congressional estimators also said they hadn’t had enough time to run the numbers. Costs could go higher, because the legislation authorizes several programs without setting specific funding levels.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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