The Congressional Budget Office has released their preliminary estimate of the cost of the Kennedy-Dodd healthcare bill, and it is not pretty. The bottom line is that the CBO estimates that a) the bill will result in a net decrease of uninsured of somewhere between 16-17 million, and a net cost over a 10-year span of $1 Trillion:
According to our preliminary assessment, enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of about $1.0 trillion over the 2010-2019 period. When fully implemented, about 39 million individuals would obtain coverage through the new insurance exchanges. At the same time, the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million or 17 million.
I am not a mathematician, but it seems to me that this bill would cost approximately $6,000 per year per person insured; or approximately $500 a month – or substantially more than it would cost the government just to write everyone a check to go get a BCBS plan. Additionally, although the price tag on this plan starts with a “T” rather than a “B”, the net decrease in uninsured will be a whopping 33%.
But that is not even the worst part of the bill. The CBO reports that the $1T price tag does not even take into consideration the two most potentially costly aspects of the bill, both of which are being pushed by Democratic Senators like Dodd: the humongous Medicaid expansion to subsidize coverage for some uninsured, and the much-ballyhooed “public healthcare option.” The Medicaid expansion alone is expected to cost well over $1 Trillion if States are going to be required to increase their own Medicaid payouts as well. The cost of the “public healthcare option” is harder to quantify in terms of absolute dollars, but the effects on the healthcare market and the economy in general will almost certainly be staggering. And yet, Obama and Dodd continue to push this bill directly in the face of the staggering budget deficits they have already rung up.
Thankfully, one of the principal architects of this horrible bill is facing retirement in 2010, and you can help him get there. Donate to Rob Simmons and help to prevent the massive economic consequences of this Obama/Dodd bill.