September 3, 2014

Cost Estimate Confusion on Health Care

  • The American health care system is a patchwork of public and private programs that serve citizens in different ways, depending on their age, military...

Is the 2010 health care legislation now projected to cost substantially more than previously estimated? No, but as Concord Coalition Policy Director Joshua Gordon explains in a new blog posting, there has been considerable confusion on the subject.

The cost estimates for the legislation, he writes, “are still tracking pretty closely to the trajectory projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2010.” But the CBO recently updated its cost estimates for one part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That part will require nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance and will create the exchanges, subsidies and expanded Medicaid program to help provide that coverage.

Some people have treated the CBO’s update as though it involved projections for the entire ACA, which it does not. And while some of the CBO’s new cost estimates are higher than earlier projections, this is simply because the older estimates were for an earlier 10-year period.

“Since the legislation has very little cost until 2014,” Gordon explains, “the difference between the two estimates can be almost entirely explained by the fact that the new estimate covers an additional three years of fully implemented insurance coverage.”

Read more with The Costs Remain the Same