ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“The lack of competition in nearly a dozen states could present problems when the insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act launch in October. The exchanges are supposed to give Americans who do not get health insurance from their employers the opportunity to choose from an array of private insurance plans. The idea is to generate competition between insurers that will lead to lower premiums.”

“A labor union representing roofers is reversing course and calling for repeal of the federal health law, citing concerns the law will raise its cost for insuring members. Organized labor was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, but more recently has voiced concerns that the law could lead members to lose their existing health plans. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers is believed to be the first union to initially support the law and later call for its repeal.”

“President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats sold many Americans on the Affordable Care Act largely by emphasizing two arguments: The law would help to reduce overall health-care costs, and it would provide health insurance to those who, for financial or health reasons, cannot get it now. Unfortunately, both of these arguments are flawed.”

“What if there were a way for even small employers to escape some Affordable Care Act rules blamed for driving up costs? Some see self-insurance for medical care, which is exempt from the law’s taxes, benefit rules and price restrictions taking effect next year, as just such an opportunity… In some circumstances, self-insurance by small businesses with younger employees could cause premiums in the small-group insurance market to rise by 25 percent, according to previous research from the Commonwealth Fund and the Urban Institute.”

“But Sebelius’ answer suggests another explanation: the Democratic opposition to catastrophic plans was not strategic, or vengeful, but entirely heartfelt. The Secretary of Health and Human Services genuinely believes that health insurance should do more than just, well, protect your ability to keep paying the mortgage. Unfortunately, “more” is very expensive and inefficient.”

“The White House insisted on Wednesday that healthcare costs are falling after a member of President Obama’s Cabinet said some people could see their insurance premiums rise under the Affordable Care Act.”

“Some people purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could see premiums rise because of requirements in the health-care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Tuesday. Ms. Sebelius’s remarks come weeks before insurers are expected to begin releasing rates for plans that start on Jan. 1, 2014, when key provisions of the health law kick in. Premiums have been a sensitive subject for the Obama administration, which is counting on elements in the health law designed to increase competition among insurers to keep rates in check.”

“They say many employees will decline company-offered insurance, either because they can get insurance through Medicaid or a family member, or because they prefer to pay the penalty for not having health insurance. The penalty next year will be as low as $95 next year, much less than most employees will be asked to pay through company-sponsored insurance plans. The comments suggest that some people may fall through the cracks in the law and remain uninsured, at least for a time.”

“Santa Claus is not going to be paying these higher subsidized premiums––federal taxpayers will be. Given that the CBO initially said the increase would only be about a third of what is coming, I have to question the original cost estimate for the new law. That said, the 40% of consumers who will not be eligible for subsides are going to see some very high prices.”

“Millions of Americans will be priced out of health insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul because of a glitch in the law that adversely affects people with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by their employers, a leading healthcare advocacy group said on Tuesday.”