ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“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.”

“As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) celebrates its third anniversary, the law has already imposed $21 billion in private-sector burdens, $9.8 billion in unfunded state liabilities, and 111 million paperwork burden hours. When the American Action Forum (AAF) reviewed the law’s regulatory impact last year, the ACA had imposed a combined cost of $12.4 billion and 50 million hours, meaning in the last year the administration has more than doubled the cost of implementation and added 21 million compliance hours.”

“Medical claims costs — the biggest driver of health insurance premiums — will jump an average 32 percent for Americans’ individual policies under President Barack Obama’s overhaul, according to a study by the nation’s leading group of financial risk analysts. The report could turn into a big headache for the Obama administration at a time when many parts of the country remain skeptical about the Affordable Care Act. The estimates were recently released by the Society of Actuaries to its members.”