Senate Republican staffers continue to look though the 2010 health care reform law to see what’s in it, and their latest discovery is a massive $17 trillion funding gap.
“The more we learn about the bill, the more we learn it is even more unaffordable than was suspected,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republicans’ budget chief in the Senate.
“The bill has to be removed from the books because we don’t have the money,” he said.
The hidden shortfall between new spending and new taxes was revealed just after Supreme Court justices grilled the law’s supporters about its compliance with the Constitution’s limits on government activity. If the court doesn’t strike down the law, it will force taxpayers to find another $17 trillion to pay for the increased spending.
The $17 trillion in extra promises was revealed by an analysis of the law’s long-term requirements. The additional obligations, when combined with existing Medicare and Medicaid funding shortfalls, leave taxpayers on the hook for an extra $82 trillion in health care obligations over the next 75 years.
The federal government has an additional $17 trillion unfunded gap in other obligations, including Social Security, bringing the total shortfall to $99 trillion.
That shortfall is different from existing debt. The federal government already owes $15 trillion in debt, including $5 trillion in funds borrowed during Obama’s term in office.