CBO Paints Expensive Picture for Pre-Tax Move

The Congressional Budget Office says the upfront cost for H.R. 994—a measure that would allow federal civilian and military retirees to pay for health premiums on a pre-tax basis and let active duty and military retirees deduct some Tricare fees from their taxable income—would be one million bucks in 2006. Enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $4 million in 2006 and $600 million over the next 10 years. That’s not the end. In a cost estimate released Aug. 30, CBO pegged direct spending after 2025 at greater than $15 billion over a 30-year period. CBO also noted that the Joint Committee on Taxation says the measure would reduce federal revenues by $12.7 billion over the next 10 years. No way this measure passes.