Department of Corrections
On Monday, I posted some tables from a Congressional Budget Office presentation anticipating the breakdown of the 2020 budget. One of the things I took from those tables was that health-care reform wasn't much of a contributor to federal spending, as it hardly showed up in the data. Unfortunately, I was wrong to assume that the CBO had fed health-care reform into their 2020 projection: They haven't yet, so the tables weren't affected by health-care reform at all. Apologies for the error.
We can, however, use the presentation to run the numbers ourselves. The CBO predicts that federal spending will reach $5.46 trillion in 2020. CBO also predicts that the health-care bill will cost $175 billion in 2019 (and save $188 billion, thus cutting the deficit by $13 billion). Let's be generous to inflation and to discretionary spending and round it up to $200 billion in 2020. That's 3.6 percent of $5.46 trillion, which is to say that health-care reform will represent less than 4 percent of anticipated government spending in 2020. And that's before we even get into questions of whether the bill's offsetting cuts and taxes will lead to the deficit-reduction they predict.
May 19, 2010; 8:55 AM ET
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