Dear Pete Sessions: "Bazillion" is not a real number either.
Here’s why lawmakers should not speak without notes
“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
Glenn Kessler corrects his math, but...really, is it now necessary to do the arithmetic that my 3rd grade son was able to do in his head a year ago?
For the record: Rep. Sessions is not a 3rd grader. He's 60 years old. He attended (and presumably graduated from) Southwestern University. He was a marketing district manager for Southwestern Bell, and is now the Chair of the House Rules Committee of the United States House of Representatives.
Read Kessler for the full analysis; it turns out that instead of "$108 billion" Sessions meant "$95 billion", and instead of "12 million" he meant "23 million". So basically, he just, y'know, rounded things off a tad here and there.
The actual number Rep. Sessions should have used was "less than $5,000 per person" as opposed to "more than $5 MILLION per person" (off by a factor of 1,000x) or, if you believe his later "clarification", "$60,000 per person" (off by a factor of 12x).
For the record, if the ACA really did cost "more than $5 million" for every enrollee, that would be $60,000,000,000,000 ($60 Trillion), which I do admit would be a wee bit on the pricey side.
On the other hand, I should thank Rep. Sessions for at least admitting that 12 million people have enrolled in private ACA exchange policies, since some of his Republican colleagues still seem to have a hard time believing that.