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CBO Clarifies and Confirms $1.055 Trillion Price Tag of House Democrats’ Health Care Bill

October 30, 2009

Washington, DC – Today, just one day after releasing their analysis of the House Democrats’ health care bill, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued a 9-page letter to “clarify the measures being used by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in its analysis of such proposals—in particular, the effects of proposals on federal budget deficits and on the magnitude of the federal budgetary commitment to health care.”

With regard to H.R. 3962, the House Democrats’ bill, CBO reiterated that, “the gross cost of the coverage expansions (including increases in both outlays and tax expenditures) would be about $1,055 billion during the 2010–2019 period.”

CBO went on to note that the House Democrats’ bill contains an “increase of about $598 billion in the [federal] budgetary commitment to health care.”  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that under previous versions of the House Democrats’ bill, “[t]otal national health expenditures under [H.R. 3200] would increase by an estimated 2.7 percent in calendar year 2019.” Over the coming decade, CMS predicts overall national health expenditures will jump by 2.1 percent, or $750.3 billion.

Both the CBO and CMS data contradicts President Obama’s oft-stated demand that health care reform must “slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.”  In fact, the Washington Post today editorialized that the House Demcorats’ bill “does not do enough to address rising health-care costs and is not financed in a sensible, sustainable way.”

A copy of CBO’s letter may be found here.  The confirmation of the $1.055 trillion cost of the House Democrats’ bill can be found at the bottom of page 5.  The nearly $600 billion increase in federal spending on health care can be found on page 6.