House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


Left Turns

March 29, 2010

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
or Brian Newell
(202) 225-4527

Supporters of ObamaCare Admit Taxpayer Money “Not Going to Last Very Long”

Speaker Pelosi believes her government takeover of health care is the “best action” we can take “on behalf of the federal budget,” and President Obama has promised government-run health care will reduce future deficits. However, even the supporters of ObamaCare acknowledge taxpayers will face greater costs than expected.   

“Provisions of the health-care law that expand benefits for home-bound elderly, certain early retirees and coal miners will likely cost more than expected, say analysts and even some of the measures' proponents…Almost 10 million U.S. workers are expected to sign up for the program [the “CLASS Act”] in the next decade. They will pay fees projected at about $123 a month to offset the cost of the benefit, but they won't start receiving services for at least five years… 

But Congress is counting on that money to offset the cost of other elements of the health-care bill. The Congressional Budget Office warned last year that the Class program's own benefits eventually would grow so large that it would drain the government's finances. ‘The Class program would inevitably add to future deficits…by more than it reduces deficits in the near term,’ the office said in a letter to lawmakers.” (Wall Street Journal, “Weighing the Cost of New Health Programs,” 3/29/2010)


“The second program, to subsidize health-care plans that cover lots of retirees under age 65, will benefit cities and states as well as old-line manufacturing firms… ‘I think there probably will be" need for funds beyond the $5 billion,’ said Chuck Loveless, the legislative director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which supported the provision. ‘Five billion is not going to last very long.’… 

“A spokesman for Rep. Sander Levin (D., Mich.), the House Ways and Means Committee chairman and a close ally of the auto industry, left open the possibility of additional funding. ‘If it turns out that more money is needed, Congress will closely monitor and act accordingly,’ said the spokesman, Matthew Beck.” (Wall Street Journal, “Weighing the Cost of New Health Programs,” 3/29/2010)


# # #