Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

But it'll only cost $15 billion!

Proponents of socialized health care in Wisconsin say the latest version - the "Healthy Wisconsin Plan" - will save money, becuase its $15 billion price tag is less than what we're already paying for health insurance and care.


Estimates of new entitlement programs inevitably understate the actual cost, either for political reasons (to ease passage) or out of innocent miscalculations, as happened with Medicare. In 1966, its first year of existence, Medicare cost $3 billion a year: the House Ways and Means Committee predicted it would cost $12 billion in 1990, taking inflation into account. But instead of costing $12 billion in 1990, Medicare cost $107 billion. And it is set to cost $488 billion in fiscal 2008.

Or consider the new prescription drug benefit for seniors, estimated to cost about roughly $1 trillion from 2007 to 2016: the costs of that program are set to rise significantly thereafter as more baby-boomers retire. Originally, the White House estimated the plan to cost $400 billion over a 10-year period; it ended up costing substantially more.
By all means, let's trust in that initial government estimate.