Side Effects: Obamacare Adds $17 Trillion to Long-Term Unfunded Government Spending
Alyene Senger /
Last week, the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff released a report revealing that, over the next 75 years, Obamacare will add an additional $17 trillion in unfunded obligations—i.e., the benefits promised by the federal government that haven’t yet been paid for.
Before Obamacare, federal programs were already responsible for racking up 75-year unfunded obligations of an astounding $65 trillion. According to the report, Medicare accounted for $38 trillion, Medicaid was responsible for over $20 trillion, and Social Security added $7 trillion.
With the enactment of Obamacare, projected federal unfunded obligations have increased by $17 trillion, now totaling $82 trillion. Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion and new exchange subsidies are largely to blame.
The number was deduced from the Administration’s own estimates, the report explains:
The $17 trillion figure…is based on the long-term model used by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Service to estimate federal health expenditures over a 75-year period. The assumptions and methodology used to build the model is from [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] Office of the Actuary. Data on the cost of the Medicaid expansion and the premium subsidies in the 10-year window is from the Administration and the Congressional Budget Office.
Clearly, Obamacare is not just bad health care policy; American taxpayers can’t afford it. As Senator Jeff Sessions (R–AL), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said, “President Obama told the American people that his health law would cost $900 billion over ten years and that it would not add ‘one dime’ to the debt.… This health law adds an entirely new obligation—one we cannot pay for—and puts the entire financing of the United States government in jeopardy.”
Obamacare may have been passed under a cloak of fiscal responsibility, but the facts continue to show otherwise. At a time when $1 trillion-plus deficits have become the norm and the United States faces ever-increasing debt, we simply cannot afford an unpopular government overhaul of health care that exacerbates our financial crisis.