In a November 20 letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said of the Medicare drug bill, “CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would result in direct spending outlays totaling $395 billion over the 2004-2013 period.”
But that is just the beginning. The next ten years after that would see a huge increase in the new program’s cost. “CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin has told members of Congress that the bill’s cost in its second ten years could reach between $1.7 trillion and $2 trillion,” reported the Washington Post on November 24.
As Sen. Judd Gregg (R.-N.H.) said during Senate debate on the final conference report on the bill, it is “a massive tax increase being placed on working young Americans and Americans who haven’t yet been born, in order to support a drug benefit for retired Americans and Americans who are about to retire.”