Cost of health reform quietly rises $111B
By Ron Shinkman, Fierce Healthcare
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates the cost of the Affordable Care Act will increase by $111 billion between 2014 and 2021, prompting some initial Congressional inquiries, reported the Associated Press.
Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, has begun to inquire as to why the cost has risen. The new calculations were in the upcoming budget proposed by the Obama administration, Bloomberg News reported.
Administration officials claim the costs are increasing due to budget technicalities, noted the AP.
“This staggering increase … cannot be explained by legislative changes or new economic assumptions, and therefore must reflect substantial changes in underlying assumptions regarding … costs,” Camp wrote Friday in a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Some observers have suggested the Obama administration has quietly recalculated that more employers will abandon covering their workers once the key portions of the Affordable Care Act take affect in 2014, or that the estimated cost of providing healthcare is continuing to grow.
“The estimates do not assume changes in what exchanges look like, the cost of insurance, or the number of Americans who will get their insurance in this new marketplace,” said Treasury spokesperson Sabrina Siddiqui.