Yes, Obamacare's costs have almost doubled

Associated Press Published: March 19, 2012
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Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released a new report showing that the gross cost of President Obama's health care law has risen from $940 billion when the bill was passed, to $1.76 trillion today. This did not sell with Obamacare's leftist apologists.

New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait, The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn, and The Washington Post's Ezra Klein all wrote posts denying that Obamacare's costs have doubled since it became law. Below are the gross cost tables from both: 1) the March 18, 2010 CBO Obamacare cost estimate; and 2) the March 2012 Obamacare cost estimate.

$1.76 trillion is not double $940 billion, but it's close. Throw in one more year of full implementation ($265 billion in 2022) and the real ten year gross cost of Obamacare is north of $2 trillion.

Ezra makes a big deal about the fact the 2012 CBO report shows that the "net" costs of Obamacare actually went down $50 billion. But that "net cost" reduction comes almost entirely from increases in the mandate fines paid by individuals and employers. So in 2010, the CBO estimated that Americans would only pay $17 billion in individual mandate fines. The 2012 estimate has that number up to $54 billion. In 2010, the CBO estimated that American employers would pay only $52 billion in mandate fines. In 2012, that number is up to $113 billion.