The Obama administration’s newly passed healthcare reform bill could potentially cost $115 billion more than originally anticipated in its first 10 years of implementation, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said last week.
Officials with the organization indicated that the modifications to the bill’s price tag are due to previously uncounted discretionary spending, including $34 billion for community health centers and $39 billion for Indian healthcare, The Associated Press (AP) reports. The revised figure also takes into account $10 billion to $20 billion in administrative costs for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Health and Human Services.
If Congress approves the discretionary spending in the bill, nearly all of the cost savings touted by the CBO in March would be eliminated.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the new analysis of the bill "provides ample cause for alarm."
"The American people wanted one thing above all from health care reform: lower costs, which Washington Democrats promised, but they did not deliver," he added. "These revelations widen the serious credibility gap President Obama is facing."
Meanwhile, Kenneth Baer, spokesman for the White House budget agency, said that the president would make sure to offset any additional discretionary spending with cuts to other domestic programs to keep costs stable.