CBO, Pelosi unclear on Obamacare’s Medicaid glitch costs

As details surface about a new-found Obamacare glitch that allows more than 3 million middle-class Americans to qualify for Medicaid, the Obama administration and key members of Congress are mum on several points.

Was it intentional? According to the Associated Press, it was a negative result of a “well-meaning effort.” Obama administration officials and senior congressional Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi haven’t answered this question, and Pelosi’s office hasn’t responded to requests from The Daily Caller seeking comment.

“What I want to know is: did the CBO know about this? Did they include this spending in their original score of the law?” said Michael Cannon, health policy expert at the Cato Institute, in an email. “Or would this spending add even more to the cost of the law?”

The CBO performed a cost analysis of the Affordable Care Act, and it contends it did take the costs of this new-found glitch into consideration.

“We have been asked by a number of people whether, in its estimate of Medicaid enrollment under PPACA, CBO took into account the change made by that law in the income definition used to determine eligibility for Medicaid,” the CBO said in a statement to the House Budget Committee. “That income definition excludes the portion of Social Security income that is not taxable.

“The short answer is ‘yes,’” the statement read. “CBO took that new income definition into account in its estimate of Medicaid enrollment and costs. We have not separately estimated the number of early retirees who would be eligible under that income definition.” (Glitch in Obamacare could add 3 million to Medicaid roll)

Though the CBO says the “short answer” is “yes” when it comes to whether or not it included these 3 million people soon-to-be-eligible for Medicaid in its Obamacare cost analysis, some questions are still unanswered. Where did the CBO get the information on how to make that analysis? And did it come from the people who wrote the law?

Also, if this was an intentionally added provision, it would appear to be a part of a concerted effort to get millions of middle-class Americans on the government Medicaid dole. If it wasn’t intentional, a second question remains: Are Democrats willing to repeal that part of the law?

“Assuming that Obamacare’s authors didn’t mean to include this middle-class Medicaid provision, one can imagine Republicans and Democrats agreeing to repeal this part of the law,” Cannon said. “But I expect House Republicans would use this embarrassing episode as leverage to repeal even more of the law.  If so, the president and his party will be on the defensive as they try to explain why they want to increase the national debt with middle-class Medicaid.”

Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, told TheDC that this new revelation is another example of why Obamacare is flawed.

“It appears that this provision could move up to 3 million more people into Medicaid, including those making up to four times the federal poverty level,” Stearns said. “It is clearly another example of a massive increase in government that we cannot afford.  Even though Obamacare was enacted over a year ago, we are still learning what was in the bill.”

Cannon echoed Stearns’s feelings that this new-found revelation shows yet again how Obamacare has negative consequences.

“When you ram a 2,000-page bill through Congress without due consideration, this is what you get: a law that accidentally kicks members of Congress out of their own health plans, inadvertently offers Medicaid to millions of middle-class retirees, and where consumers are clamoring for waivers to protect them from the law’s supposed consumer protections,” Cannon said.

  • Notfooledtwice

    Nazi Pelosi’s not “dumb” or ‘stupid” but evil, corrupt and demon possessed.

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  • joeaiello

    It’s funny how these idiots keep knocking what they call “Obamacare”. Before this Healthcare Reform became law, 45 million Americans who lost their employer insurance because they were made part time to cut employee benefits had to go to hospital emergency rooms. Does anyone know how much more it cost us taxpayers every time one of these people went to the emergency room? Now multiply that by 45 million!
    And yet these Murdoch “Fake News” watching clowns still bitch about Healthcare Reform!!
    And who sponsors the majority of ads on the “Fake News Channel”? Insurance companies who don’t want to pay for people with pre existing conditions like cancer!!!

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    Next to Barbara Boxer, the dumbest person to ever hold national office and one of the most corrupt. Everytime she opens her semi-literate mouth, something ignorant,partisanor untrue comes out! She should be investigated for selling treasure island to her land developer husband and his band of investor friends for one tenth of its appraised value. Also the fact that she gave over 100 exemptions to Obamacare for large companies and campaign contributors in her district!

    • recovered dem

      Pelosi also shot down a cost saving law that would have made pioneer drugs a lot cheaper by allowing generics because the big drug company Genentech is in her district and it would have restricted their earnings.

      She really is a horrible person.

  • dahni

    We’ve got to have become the stupidist people on earth! We let politicians pass legislation, and then over the next several years they write and rewrite the contents of the bill, as needed! WTF is going on?

  • katz

    How stupid are you people? Who signs papers without reading exactly what is in it? Oh excuse me, I forgot it’s the clowns in government who can’t read and can’t keep to a budget. Did you people attend Reading and Math in school?

  • ladyceo

    Unintended consequences of NOT READING THE BILL BEFORE SIGNING IT you idiots!Explain this one Nancy. OMG–get rid of Obamacare before it’s too late. Better yet, get rid of the people who signed without reading.
    It just keeps getting better!!! Each day something new..like a bad nightmare!

    • dahni

      I’m afraid you are right; we must get rid of most current officeholders. The unbridled greed and self interest of politicians is ruining America.