CMS Spent More Than $1T in Less Than 1 Yr; More Than Entire Gov’t Spent When Medicaid-Medicare Enacted

Terence P. Jeffrey | October 30, 2013 | 1:35pm EDT
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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

( - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which runs the federal government’s major health-care programs, and which was responsible for developing the Obamacare health-insurance exchange website, spent more than $1 trillion in just the first eleven months of fiscal 2013, according to the Treasury.

From October 2012 through August 2013, according to the Treasury, this one federal agency spent $1,036,561,000,000.

That means that in just the first eleven months of fiscal 2013, CMS cost more in inflation-adjusted dollars than the entire federal government cost in 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the law that created Medicaid and Medicare.

In 1965, the entire federal government spent $118,228,000,000 in 1965 dollars, according to the Office of Management and Budget. That $118,228,000,000 in 1965 dollars equals $878,824,380,000 in 2013 dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.

Thus, the $1,036,561,000,000 that CMS spent in 2013 dollars in the first eleven months of fiscal 2013 equals 118 percent of the $878,824,380,000 in 2013 dollars that the entire federal government spent in all of fiscal 1965.

In the decade from fiscal 2002 to fiscal 2012, CMS spending increased 111 percent, rising from $498,878,000,000 to $1,052,799,000,000.

Although it is almost November, the Treasury has not released its Monthly Treasury Statement for September, the final month of the fiscal year. So, it is not yet known how much CMS spent during the entirety of fiscal 2013.

CMS was the first federal agency to ever spend more than $1 trillion in a single fiscal year, according to Treasury reports. It initially did so in fiscal 2010, when it spent $1,035,783,000,000. In fiscal 2011, CMS spent $1,095,406,000,000; and, in fiscal 2012, it spent $1,052,799,000,000.

Fiscal 2013 marks the fourth year in a row when CMS has spent $1T or more.

By comparison, the Defense Department spent $666,717,000 in fiscal 2010; $678,077,000,000 fiscal 2011; and $650,869,000,000 in fiscal 2012. Through August 2013, the Department of Defense had spent $559,942,000,000 in fiscal 2013. That equals only 54 percent of the $1,036,561,000,000 that CMS had spent through August 2013.

CMS spending started exceeding the $1-trillion-per-year spending mark before Obamcare was implemented. The number of people enrolled in Medicaid will increase under Obamacare because people will be able to qualify for Medicaid in many states at a higher income level than has been allowed in the past.

Major outlays by CMS in the first eleven months of fiscal 2013, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for August, included $244.083 billion in grants to states for Medicaid, $251.265 billion in benefit payments out of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, $230.241 billion in benefit payments from the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund, and $61.452 billion in benefits for the Medicare Prescription Drug program.

The Medicare Prescription Drug program was approved by a Republican-majority Congress and signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush.

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