NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 24, 2010

Counting heads is a relatively simple procedure.  So if the costs of a relatively simple administrative procedure like taking the decennial census have a history of spiraling wildly out of control, what is the graph of runaway ObamaCare costs going to look like?  Imagine the price tag of having the government in charge of keeping Americans healthy -- compared to just counting their noses, says playwright Gregg Opelka. 

According to Jason Gauthier's 2002 study entitled "Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000," the cost to perform the census has risen over the decades at a rate staggeringly higher than the rate of the growth of the population itself.  What does this mean?  Simply put, that bureaucracy is obese, says Opelka. 

For example: 

  • The census cost was a little more than 60 cents per person in 1950 ($91.4 million).
  • It is projected to cost nearly $47 per person in 2010 ($14.5 billion), a whopping 7,822 percent increase in cost per person.
  • During the same time, the population rose by 100 percent (i.e., doubled) from 150 million to over 300 million. But the overall cost of counting it (the census) rose by 15,800 percent.  

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was used by the Obama administration to lend imprimatur to its incredible claims of lowered health care costs in order to hoodwink legislators into passing and the public into accepting this massive entitlement.  If you think ObamaCare looks expensive now, just massage the CBO's risibly unrealistic projections with a little reality from the census's actual costs over the decades.  The census cost spiral demonstrates that in no time at all ObamaCare will grow so obese it'll have to be pushed around in a wheelchair, says Opelka. 

Source: Gregg Opelka, "Runaway Census Cost Is Frightening Preview of True ObamaCare Price Tag," Big Government, June 5, 2010. 

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