If Congress approves all of the spending called for in the new federal health care legislation, the program’s projected 10-year cost will soar over $1 trillion.
That’s according to the latest estimate of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which shows an increase of $115 billion due to higher administrative costs and more spending for community health centers and other areas.
CBO said it didn’t include the additional $115 billion in the estimate it provided before Congress voted on the reform bill because the funds are not mandated by the new law and would have to be approved by separate vote.
However, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget responded to the higher CBO estimate by saying that President Obama would veto any additional spending in the new health care law if it was not offset elsewhere.
The CBO’s pre-vote estimate of less than $1 trillion was seen as critical in winning the support of fiscally conservative Democrats in Congress.
At the time, the CBO also said the nearly trillion-dollar program would reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion.