The Associated Press explains why even experts on the federal budget might find it difficult to determine the cost of provisions of President Obama’s health care reform law in the president’s latest budget proposal.
“It turns out that the costs of the Affordable Care Act…are sprinkled here and there through hundreds of pages of budget books. It’s partly due to the arcane ways of government budgeting. It may also be an effort to avoid giving foes more of a target.”
“Even some of the major spending in the new law isn’t easy to find… Its Medicaid budget calls for a nearly $38 billion increase for 2014. Most of that is due to the Medicaid expansion. But how much? Department officials said Wednesday they can’t really tell… Well, how about the subsidies to help middle-class uninsured people buy private insurance plans? Those are actually packaged as tax credits and not in the HHS budget at all. A footnote in another part of the budget estimates that “premium assistance credits” will cost $32.3 billion in 2014, rising to $82.2 billion by 2018.”