March 15, 2010
In its March 11, 2010, cost estimate for H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as passed by the Senate, CBO indicated that it had identified at least $50 billion in specified and estimated authorizations of discretionary spending that might be involved in implementing that legislation. Discretionary costs under PPACA would arise from the effects of the legislation on several federal agencies (especially the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services) and on a number of new and existing programs. The authority to undertake such spending is not provided in H.R. 3590; it would require future action in appropriation bills. Today CBO released a memo and table providing additional information about those authorizations.