Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote for the 37th time to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care act. The political theater will give conservatives fodder for their constituents, but will end up costing voters even more.
Last year, CBS News calculated that the first 33 votes to repeal health care reform took up approximately 80 hours of floor time from the House, or roughly two weeks. The Congressional Research Service said it costs $24 million to run the House for a week, so the first 33 votes cost taxpayers approximately $48 million.
The numbers translate to approximately $1.45 million per vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the House of Representatives. Adding in the three votes since CBS News’ report last year plus Thursday’s planned vote would add $5.8 million to the total.
In other words, since 2011, the House of Representatives has spent approximately $53.8 million attempting to repeal health care reform. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office estimated last year that repeal would add $109 billion to deficits over the next decade, according to TalkingPointsMemo.com.
At the same time the House continues to vote to defund the health care act, overall health care spending is declining and some experts have suggested the declines could be permanent. A recent Harvard study found “public health care spending will be as much as $770 billion less than predicted.”