WASHINGTON (AP) -- A leading conservative economist says President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will add at least $340 billion to the federal deficit, instead of reducing it.
Economist Charles Blahous also serves as public trustee overseeing Medicare and Social Security finances. His study, set for release Tuesday, could reignite a debate about the law's impact on the government's bottom line.
Officially, the health care law is projected to help reduce federal red ink. The Congressional Budget Office, the government's non-partisan fiscal umpire, said in an estimate last year that repealing the law actually would increase deficits by $210 billion from 2012-2021.
The CBO, however, has not updated that projection. If $210 billion sounds like a big cushion, it's not. The government has recently been running annual deficits in the $1 trillion range.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)