Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) Fails Simple Multiplication

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) claimed 108 billion divided by 12 million equals 5 million, however the actual number was 5 thousand. We prove it with math.

Pete Sessions – Republican Math: 108,000,000,000 ÷ 12,000,000 = 5,000,000 (that is million)
Real Math – CBO Estimate of actual GROSS cost of Marketplace subsidies in 2015 divided by those who actually got subsidies: 45,000,000,000  ÷ 9,000,000 = $5,000 per enrollee who got subsidies (net costs are $32 billion and would be $3,555 if factored that way)
According to CBO estimates ObamaCare’s Marketplace subsidies cost on average $3,5000 per enrollee with subsidies, while Medicaid and CHIP subsidies cost $4,500 on average. We only get larger numbers when we factor in those who didn’t get subsidies, but used the Marketplace. See our ObamaCare subsidy spending page here.

Fact-checker Glenn Kessler from was the first to point out what should have been obvious to everyone immediately, Pete Sessions actually had no clue what he was talking about when he tried to show how expensive it was to expand coverage to 12 million Americans.

The problem is that it doesn’t cost 5 million per person helped by the ACA, it costs about $9,000 (and that’s according to his 108 billion dollar estimate, not the 45 billion dollar gross estimate from the CBO). 108 billion divided by 12 million equals 9 thousand.

Interestingly enough $9,000 is about what the healthcare system costs for each American in general. Dividing the $3 trillion dollar system by 320 million (it’s actually $9,375 per person).

Actual math of the estimate which was incorrect in the first place: 108,000,000,000 ÷ 12,000,000 = 9,000

Cost of healthcare industry (estimated) divided by US population (estimated): 3,000,000,000,000 ÷  320,000,000,000 = 9,375

Republican Math: 108,000,000,000 ÷ 12,000,000 = 5,000,000 (that is million)

Also: Just throwing it out there. The CBO projected the cost of coverage provisions to be $76 billion (pg 117 this includes $47 billion for Medicaid and CHIP and $2 billion in small business tax credits) $45 billion gross and $32 billion net (pg 122) in January 2015. They were assuming 12 million would enroll, while 9 million would get subsidies.

CBO Estimate of total spending on coverage provisions for 2015 (net including Medicaid and CHIP, and small business) versus all enrollees (but not counting Medicaid and employees of small businesses for some odd reason, probably just to ensure a big number): 76,000,000,000  ÷ 12,000,000 = $6,333 per enrollee in general (including 3 million without subsidies)

CBO Estimate of actual GROSS costs of subsidies in 2015 divided by those who actually got subsidies: 45,000,000,000  ÷ 9,000,000 = $5,000 per enrollee who got subsidies

CBO Estimate of actual NET costs divided by those who actually got subsidies: 32,000,000,000  ÷ 9,000,000 = $3,555 per enrollee who got subsidies

“If you just do simple multiplication, 12 million [insured individuals] into $108 billion, we are talking literally every single [Obamacare] recipient would be costing this government more than $5 million per person for their insurance. It’s staggering….$108 billion for 12 million people is immoral. It’s unconscionable. ”

– Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), statement on the House floor, March 24, 2015

Read more from the Washington Post.

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of,, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. is a...

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