Earlier Tuesday, I reported that the Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimates anticipate that the gross cost of President Obama’s health care law will be $1.8 trillion over the next decade. But this estimate alone doesn’t provide a full understanding of the program’s growing costs over time.
As one can see from the chart below, spending on the law’s major coverage provisions (expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance on government-run exchanges) goes from $48 billion in 2014 to $250 billion in 2023 as more people obtain coverage and health care costs grow.
Though the growth in the annual cost of Obamacare is expected to level off by the end of the 10-year projection period, spending still grows by about 5.5 percent in the final year (2022 to 2023). Obviously, longer-term projections are difficult, but if spending continues to grow even at that slower rate, then Obamacare would cost more than $3 trillion in the following decade.