The President Still Hasn’t Answered the Question: How Much will it COST??

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

The President Still Hasn’t Answered the Question:
How Much will it COST??
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the President unveiled his latest version of a health care reform package. While the President and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate are maneuvering to rush the legislation through Congress, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet had the time to complete an analysis of the impact of their plan on the federal budget. In addition, even the CBO’s estimates from the House-passed and Senate-passed versions of the health care legislation are not yet complete, as they do not include dozens of programs funded through discretionary spending.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis today warned that shoving this flawed health care package through Congress – without an accurate cost analysis – would be a “grave mistake”:
“As much talk as the President and the Democrat majority have done about their health care bill, they have still not answered the basic question… How much will it cost?
“CBO has produced incomplete estimates for only the House and Senate bills, not the President’s latest plan. And, even these results do not include hundreds of billions of dollars in hidden and uncounted spending to be funded through the Appropriations process down the road.
“In addition to the severe policy defects in the Democrat plan, this legislation could cost anywhere from $1.3 trillion on up. How can the President and Democrat leaders ask for the support of the American people for health care reform when they haven’t got an accurate price tag? How can they, in good conscience, force members on both sides of the aisle to cast votes on a package without knowing the real impact it will have on our deficits and debt?
“No reasonable person would buy a house without knowing the asking price. It would indeed be a shame if Speaker Pelosi and the President ask Congress to do just that, but with a piece of legislation that could total upwards of one-sixth of the entire U.S. economy.  Ramming this seriously flawed legislation through, without any consideration of cost to the American people and without knowing the real facts, would be a grave mistake.”
Lewis has previously requested additional analysis from the CBO on the health care legislation, and has formally asked Speaker Pelosi to postpone any votes on a final health care bill until the cost estimates are complete. To view this correspondence, please click here: /_files/22410PelosiHealthCareCostsLetter.pdf

112th Congress