Budget office clarifies health care costs update

Washington, D.C. (AP) May 2010

A chunk of spending on President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is actually money for current federal programs, congressional budget scorekeepers said Wednesday, in a twist to the partisan dispute over the law’s price tag.

Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis listing at least $115 billion in spending under President Barack Obama’s health care law that was not fully accounted for at the time Congress passed the legislation.

Republicans said it was evidence of hidden costs that would wipe out most of the savings the administration expects to reap under the law.

But the budget office now says that about $86 billion of that total represents funding for ongoing programs, which analysts routinely assume will be continued from year to year. Those programs include grants to community health centers and Indian health care.



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