Cost estimates for a key part of President Obama’s health care overhaul law have ballooned by $111 billion from last year’s budget, and a senior Republican lawmaker on Friday demanded an explanation.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., wants to know by Monday why the estimated ten-year cost of helping millions of middle-class Americans buy health insurance has jumped by about 30 percent.
Administration officials say the explanation lies in budget technicalities and that there are no significant changes in the program.
The revised numbers, buried deep in the president’s budget, stumped lawmakers and some administration officials for most of the week. At a congressional hearing Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is in charge of carrying out the health care law, indicated she was unaware of the changes.
Republicans say they’re concerned that either the estimated cost of the insurance has gone up, or that the administration has determined many more people will be losing employer coverage and going into the new government-subsidized markets, which will be called exchanges.