The state health exchanges that are central to the U.S. Affordable Care Act are costing the federal government more than twice its initial budget to complete.

The Obama administration expects to have spent $4.4 billion in fiscal 2012 and 2013 on grants to states that are building new marketplaces to sell subsidized health insurance, according to budget proposals released today for 2014. A year ago, the administration had anticipated spending about $2 billion.

Including grants the administration expects to make in 2014, costs for the state-run exchanges will reach about $5.7 billion. The budget overrun doesn’t include the extra money needed to set up a “Federally Facilitated Exchange” in 34 states that chose not to cooperate with President Barack Obama’s initiative.

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