The Fiscal Mystery of Obamacare

The Congressional Budget Office, which originally estimated that the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," would reduce the national debt by $120 billion, now says it has no way of estimating the cost of the new health care law.

CBO's new outlook on the ACA's costs was buried in a footnote to an April 14 report. It was first reported Wednesday by Roll Call's Paul M. Krawzak.

"CBO and [Joint Committee on Taxation] can no longer determine exactly how the provisions of the ACA that are not related to the expansion of health insurance coverage have affected their projections of direct spending and revenues. The provisions that expanded coverage established entirely new programs or components of programs that can be isolated and reassessed. Isolating the incremental effects of those provisions on previously existing programs and revenues four years after enactment of the ACP is not possible," the footnote read.