ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“As the federal government moves forward to implement President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services is slated to spend millions of dollars promoting the unpopular legislation. In the face of this publicity blitz, it is worth remembering that the law was originally sold largely on four grounds—all of which have become increasingly implausible.”

“The Obama administration adopted a strict definition of affordable health insurance on Wednesday that will deny federal financial assistance to millions of Americans with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by employers. In deciding whether an employer’s health plan is affordable, the Internal Revenue Service said it would look at the cost of coverage only for an individual employee, not for a family. Family coverage might be prohibitively expensive, but federal subsidies would not be available to help buy insurance for children in the family. The policy decision came in a final regulation interpreting ambiguous language in the 2010 health care law.”

“The Obama administration is late in implementing several provisions of the federal health overhaul intended to improve access to care and lower costs. The programs, slated to take effect Jan. 1, were supposed to increase fees to primary care doctors who treat Medicaid patients, give states more federal funding if they eliminate Medicaid co-pays for preventive services and experiment with changes to how doctors and hospitals are paid by Medicare.”

“Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour. Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive.”

“The federal health-care overhaul is prompting some colleges and universities to cut the hours of adjunct professors, renewing a debate about the pay and benefits of these freelance instructors who handle a significant share of teaching at U.S. higher-education institutions.”

“‘Even though’? In fact, Obamacare is simply doing what a lot of people predicted it would. Critics of ObamaCare warned that it would produce precisely the kind of premium increases we are now seeing, for precisely the reasons that new reports are now citing. I was one of those critics, and I take no joy in pointing out that we told you so.”

“This note analyzes the ACA through the use of a large-scale microsimulation model of insurance markets. We
find a rich array of impacts across a variety of insurance products. As shown in the table below, on balance the ACA will raise the costs of exchange-based insurance products (and, accordingly, raise the cost of government subsidies). In particular, consumers may be expected to suffer sharp ‘sticker shock’ upon full implementation of the ACA in 2014 as premiums will at best remain unchanged, and for others may rise as much 13 percent.”

“Around the country, insurers are fixing to raise rates by double digits. They’re privately briefing politicians in Washington on what’s in store. Those briefings are leaving a lot of folks up and down Pennsylvania Avenue jumpy.”

“Health-insurance premiums have been rising—and consumers will experience another series of price shocks later this year when some see their premiums skyrocket thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare. The reason: The congressional Democrats who crafted the legislation ignored virtually every actuarial principle governing rational insurance pricing. Premiums will soon reflect that disregard—indeed, premiums are already reflecting it.”

“Can’t get enough of Obamacare’s individual mandate? Get ready for ‘mandate plus.’ … They want more incentives — such as a late enrollment fee — to get healthy people to sign up quickly… The states could impose some of these incentives, too, and they could become a future lobbying battleground. But right now, the insurers are focused on persuading the Department of Health and Human Services to add them on its own.”