Ilovebenefits’s Blog

Just another weblog

How much do you think the health care proposals will cost?

Editor’s note: Greg Scandlen has pulled together this analysis from several sources. Remember, Congress is looking for political points for the next series of elections. Doing the hard stuff, well…

Costing it Out

$1 Trillion to Cover 16 Million Uninsured?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) took a lot of wind out of a lot of sails when they released a score of the Senate HELP proposal. It estimated that Senator Kenney’s draft would add $1 trillion to the deficit over ten years and decrease the number of uninsured by only 16 million.

Keep in mind, this is money added to the deficit because the federal government has no real money to spend. Every penny of new spending has to be borrowed from – well, who knows? That means interest has to be paid on it, and it has to be paid back at some time, by – well, who knows? Also, this is new money added to an already bloated health care system.

Further, CBO/JCT have barely scratched the surface of this one proposal. This is only an estimate of the cost of the subsidies provided to people from 150% to 500% of poverty. And eve then it does not estimate the cost of the enriched benefits for this coverage, such as

  • Covering “children” to the age of 27,
  • Eliminating any annual or lifetime maximums, 
  • Any benefit enhancements required by the new “Medical Advisory Council,”
  • The added costs of minimum loss ratios, community rating, and administration related to policing provider behavior.

It also does not estimate the added cost of putting all people up to 150% of Medicaid, or of the massive administrative costs of setting up and running “gateways,” conducting “risk adjustment” programs, or enforcement of mandates.


More Like $4 Trillion

However, Steve Parente and colleagues at Health Systems Innovations did score these other items, and came up with a ten-year cost of $4 trillion, including $460 billion in new spending in 2010 alone. Of course, they assume the mandates and coverage expansions will actually work and 99% of the population will be covered.



June 19, 2009 - Posted by | Accountability, Affordability, Economics of Health care, Federal Government | , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: