The Democrats assert that their Senate bill would cost $848 billion over ten years (2010 to 2019). But almost all of those costs would accrue from 2014-onward. Congressional Budget Office projections show that in the bill’s true first 10 years (2014 to 2023), it would cost $1.8 trillion.
But it gets even worse. The CBO doesn’t say that these would be the bill’s total costs. Rather, these would merely be the gross costs of the bill’s “expansions in insurance coverage.” The CBO shows that there are many other costs in the bill as well, including spending related to the CLASS Act, risk-adjustment payments, funding for the government-run “public option” (not a cent of which is included in the figure for “expansions in insurance coverage”), and other new federal spending.
Taking all of these into account, the CBO projects that the bill’s total costs in its real first 10 years would be $2.5 trillion — and that its total costs in its real first 15 years would be $4.8 trillion. And that’s even without counting the “doc fix” that the Democrats plan to pass afterward.
Here’s a chart Anderson made using CBO projections to show that the Senate health care bill costs $2.5 trillion during the first ten years that the program is up and running (download the PDF here):