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CBO: “Build Back Better” health spending would cost six times more than advertised

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has officially quantified the true likely cost and impact of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-New York) “Build Back Better” bill — and the numbers are staggering.

At the heart of the bill is a proposed “temporary” two-year extension of Obamacare health insurance premium subsidies — subsidies that congressional Democrats expanded “temporarily” two years ago. Those expansions are slated to expire at the end of this year.

Earlier this month, CBO’s analysts estimated the proposed extension would cost a total of $40 billion.

But now they have clarified that estimate, adding what it would cost if the expansion were made permanent — a far more realistic assumption:

  • The ten-year cost of the “Build Back Better” health care spending would be $248 billion over the first decade — a quarter of a trillion dollars, or about $25 billion a year.
  • That’s six times more than the earlier estimate of $40 billion.
  • Taxpayers would spend a total of $75 billion a year on Obamacare, a 50-percent increase over the pre-pandemic rate of $50 billion a year.
  • All this new money would go directly to health insurance companies.
  • Most of the expanded subsidies would be used to reduce the premiums of people who already have health insurance.
  • It would only help a mere 2.2 million uninsured people — less than one percent of the U.S. population — for an average cost of more than $30,000 per newly covered person, or more than four times the cost of an average workplace health plan ($7,000 a year).
  • Some of the money would be used to reduce the health insurance premiums of affluent households, including some whose income exceeds $250,000 a year.
  • The existence of the expanded subsidies would cause nearly 5 million Americans to lose their current workplace health benefits. Many of those people would end up on Obamacare or Medicaid.

To sum up, “Build Back Better” would cost taxpayers a quarter of a trillion dollars — and give them nearly nothing in return.

In the annals of government waste, surely this bill would rank very high.

Schumer et al. have employed a classic Washington budget gimmick, disingenuously claiming the subsidies will expire after two years. But no serious person believes them.

After all, this is exactly what they told us two years ago: This spending is temporary, because of COVID.

“These are all temporary fixes,” said Rep. Ro Khanna of California last year.

And here they are, with a straight face, back for more. Their lips say “temporary,” but their actions say “permanent.”

This is the sort of thing that caused Ronald Reagan to quip, “The nearest thing to eternal life on earth is a government program.”

In the spirit of Reagan, let’s just say no to this deeply misguided plan and put it on the ash heap of history.

Inflation, spending, deficits, and the national debt are all at historic highs.

There could not be a worse time for more inflationary government spending. And Obamacare spending is very inflationary.

Why do they want to waste so much money? To advance a complete government takeover of health care.

For Sen. Schumer and his allies, every taxpayer dollar we spend on Obamacare, Medicaid, etc. today — no matter how wasteful — is just another brick in the wall of permanent, government-controlled health care forever.

The good news is Americans don’t want what Schumer and company are selling. They don’t want a government takeover of health care. They just want to fix what’s broken in our health care system — and keep what works.

Health care is personal. Instead of more government and massively wasteful schemes like “Build Back Better,” Americans want and deserve a health care personal option.

Visit to learn how you can take action in favor of personalized health care.