HHS’ Burwell Caught Low-Balling Congress on Cost of Healthcare.gov
A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), gave a potentially misleading answer when she told Congress that Healthcare.gov – the federal government’s ObamaCare portal – cost taxpayers $834 million to build.
Nicole Kaeding at the CATO Institute teases out some of the unstated, but related, costs that balloon the overall price tag to $2.14 billion, far north of Burwell’s testimony.
I’ve summarized them here as bullet points:
$300 million contract to process paper applications to serve as backups to electronic files
$387 million for real-time interfacing between the IRS and Healthcare.gov to verify income and family size for insurance subsidy calculations
$400 million in accounting tricks…[more]
What a difference a decade makes.
Imagine if, in 2004 — with George W. Bush in the heat of a reelection campaign conducted against the backdrop of the Iraq war— some prescient observer of American politics had told you that a decade hence the Republican Party would be more unified in its position on health care than on foreign policy. That such an observation (A) would have sounded crazy and (B) would have also been true is an object lesson in how little faith we should have in pundits confidently predicting the political future.
The GOP’s new-found foreign policy tension flared…
"If Mr. Obama isn't thinking about cashiering a top adviser, he should start now. CIA Director John Brennan has presided over serial intelligence debacles — including the failure to anticipate the fall of Mosul — while National Intelligence Director James Clapper has had no credibility in Congress since he lied to a Senate committee. John Kerry's incompetent diplomacy in Jerusalem and…[more]