Medicare Has Cost Ten Times More Than Government Predicted

change4th_deesMedicare was pitched in 1965 as being economically responsible. Its promoters in Congress estimated that the Medicare bill would cost $1.1 billion for the following two years. The day after the bill was signed into law, its costs were widely estimated to be $6.5 billion over a decade. The House Ways and Means Committee said Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990.

But actual costs of Medicare in its first decade were double the estimates: $13.2 billion. And by 1990, Medicare had cost $98 billion, not $12 billion.

Today Medicare costs at least $457 billion PER YEAR–more than ten times the original estimates–even when inflation is factored in. These figures are from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s “President’s Budget: Historical Tables” (2010).