January 2nd, 2014
Editor’s note: In addition to Steffie Woolhandler (photo and bio above), this post is authored by David Himmelstein, a professor of public health at the City University of New York, a visiting professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a cofounder of Physicians for a National Health Program with Woolhandler..
The smooth and inexpensive rollout of Medicare on July 1, 1966 provides a sharp contrast to the costly chaos of Obamacare.
We won’t rehearse the chaos part here, just the costs.
As of March, 2013, federal grants for Obamacare’s state exchanges totaled $3.8 billion. Spending for the federal exchange is harder to pin down because funding has come from multiple accounts, including: the $1 billion Health Insurance Implementation Fund; DHHS’ General Departmental Management Account and General Departmental Management Account; CMS’s Program Management Account and the Prevention and Public Health Fund. CMS estimates fiscal 2014 spending for the federally-operated exchanges at $2 billion. So it’s safe to say that the costs of getting the exchanges up and running, and (hopefully) enrolling 7 million people in the program’s first year will exceed $6 billion.Read the rest of this entry »