Add ObamaCare to the long list of federal government programs whose rosy initial cost projections become far less clear the longer the programs are in place.
There was never any sound reason to think that ObamaCare could bring tens of millions of Americans onto government health care without making costs go up.
And now, those high-dollar fears are looking increasingly justified.
The expected cost of ObamaCare's attempt to make medical coverage more "affordable" by providing subsidies to some middle-class Americans, starting in 2014, has suddenly and massively risen.
Well, the budget put forth last year guesstimated that the subsidies in question would cost $367 billion from 2014 through 2021. That's a lot of money, but hold on to your hats: This year's budget puts the cost of those very same subsidies at a newly "adjusted" $478 billion for the same time period!
What accounts for that $111 billion gap? "Administration officials say the explanation lies in budget technicalities ...," The Associated Press reported.
Those are some awfully big technicalities, wouldn't you say?
The Obama administration says most of the mammoth difference came from a recently enacted law that closed a loophole that might have let some people get almost free coverage. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that legislation shouldn't have the cost effect that the administration is claiming. So the real cause of the change in the subsidy cost is murky at best.
And remember, these subsidies are only one part of ObamaCare. Don't you get the distinct feeling that this is just one of many big-cost "surprises" ObamaCare is going to be imposing over the coming years as its burdensome provisions take effect and federal and state bureaucrats, insurers and ordinary people begin trying to figure out its thousands of pages of regulations?
And don't you suspect that if supporters of unpopular ObamaCare had leveled with the American people early about its true costs and its potential to do grave harm to our economy, it might never have become law?