House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp is asking about health insurance tax subsidy cost figures in the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal.
The proposal seems to indicate that the cost of the subsidies will be about $111 billion, or 30%, higher than originally expected, Camp, R-Mich., writes in a letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The Premium Assistance Tax Credit line near the bottom of page 315 of a 2013 budget table shows, for example, that the government would spend $21.5 billion on the tax credit in 2014 and $478 billion from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2021.
Near the top of page 322 in the comparable 2012 budget table, the administration said the government would spend $15.6 billion on the tax credit in fiscal year 2014 and $367 billion from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2021.
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“This staggering increase in health insurance exchange subsidy spending cannot be explained by legislative changes or new economic assumptions, and therefore must reflect substantial changes in underlying assumptions regarding the program’s utilization and costs,” Camp says.
Fiscal year 2013 will start Oct. 1.