U.S. Raises Estimate for 10-Year Deficit to $9 Trillion

The Obama administration, citing an economic downturn that has been deeper than it had first thought, raised its estimate on Tuesday of the government’s deficit over the next decade to $9 trillion from $7.1 trillion.

Despite the shortfalls, White House officials said they saw no reason to back away from President Obama’s ambitious and costly goal of overhauling the health care system. The new amount includes the cost of the health care overhaul as well as about $600 billion in additional revenue that the administration hopes to raise, but to which Congress has not agreed.

“A lot of people will look at this deficit and say we cannot afford health care reform,” said Peter R. Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget. But Mr. Orszag said the opposite was true: the only way to control spiraling Medicare costs, he said, was to get control of overall health care costs by overhauling the system

NYT
8/25/9