HHS Will Become Nation's First Trillion-Dollar-Per-Year Cabinet Department When Obamacare's Fully Implemented in 2014, Says Obama's Budget

February 15, 2011 - 1:47 PM

SOTU-Obama-2011

President Barack Obama is applauded by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner on Capitol Hill while delivering his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

(CNSNews.com) - The Department of Health and Human Services will become the nation's first-ever $1-trillion-per-year Cabinet department in 2014, which is also the first year President Barack Obama's health-care law is scheduled to be fully implemented by that department, according to the budget projections President Obama released yesterday.

In fact, HHS already is costing American taxpayers more per year in inflation-adjusted dollars than the entire federal government cost back in 1965, the year President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed Medicare into law.

Medicare is the single most costly program in HHS.

This year, according to the Obama budget, HHS will spend $909.7 billion. That makes it the most expensive Cabinet department in the U.S. government, exceeding the Defense Department—which will spend $739.7 billion this year--by $170 billion.

In 1965, according to the historical tables published yesterday with President Obama’s budget, the entire federal government spent $118.228 billion. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, that adjusts to $822.6 billion in 2010 dollars—or about $87 billion less than HHS alone will spend this year.

HHS spending will increase to $1.049 trillion in fiscal 2014, according to the Obama budget. That would be the first time in history that any U.S. Cabinet department spent more than $1 trillion in a single year.

According to HHS’s budget plan, Medicare will account for 54 percent of the department’s budget in fiscal 2012 and Medicaid will account for 30 percent.

Medicare spending will  rise from $488.4 billion in fiscal 2011 (the current year) to $557 billion in fiscal 2014, when President Obama’s health-care law would be in full force, according to budget tables published with the president's budget. Medicaid will rise from $276.2 billion this year to $352.1 billion in 2014.