Around 5 years after the law passed, Bloomberg Government has analyzed the cost of the program so far. And the picture isn’t pretty.
Nearly five years after passage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a companion electronic health records (EHR) program have run a startup tab of more than $73 billion, the Bloomberg Government analysis finds.
Part of that total is the cost of healthcare.gov, the flawed website and related enrollment system intended to expand U.S. health insurance coverage.
BGOV’s analysis shows that costs for both healthcare.gov and the broader reform effort are far greater than anything publicly discussed. They’re also substantially greater than what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) initially estimated health reform would cost by this point, although not what the agency’s more recent piecemeal estimates suggest.
Meanwhile, the changes in health-care financing and delivery on which the money is being spent remain very much in their startup phase.
The following graph, from Bloomberg, shows just how bad the situation really is.
Read the whole report here. Partisan squabbling and posturing aside, this law and its related provisions are well on their way to having a severe negative impact on deficits and debt. This is too important to get lost in the noise of political debates — it’s time for real spending reform.