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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Obamacare: The Reckoning

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The stakes have never been higher, says Charles Krauthammer.

 

 

Obamacare dominated the 2010 midterms, driving its Democratic authors to a historic electoral shellacking. But since then, the issue has slipped quietly underground.

Now it’s back, summoned to the national stage by the confluence of three disparate events: the release of new Congressional Budget Office cost estimates, the approach of Supreme Court hearings on the law’s constitutionality, and the issuance of a compulsory contraception mandate.

Cost
Obamacare was carefully constructed to manipulate the standard ten-year cost projections of the CBO. Because benefits would not fully kick in for four years, President Obama could trumpet ten-year gross costs of less than $1 trillion — $938 billion, to be exact.

But now that the near-costless years 2010 and 2011 have elapsed, the true ten-year price tag comes into focus. From 2013 through 2022, the CBO reports, the costs of Obamacare come to $1.76 trillion — almost twice the phony original number.

It gets worse. Annual gross costs after 2021 are more than a quarter of a trillion dollars every year — until the end of time. That, for a new entitlement in a country already drowning in $16 trillion of debt.

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