ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“The mandate, they say, is necessary to rein in the cost-shifting to the insured caused by uninsured individuals who receive free or ‘uncompensated’ care when they visit emergency rooms and fail to pay. Will the justices buy Team Obama’s reasoning? They shouldn’t. The Administration’s argument for the mandate has it all backwards. In fact, the individual mandate will increase the amount of cost-shifting resulting from uncompensated care.”

“New estimates suggest that health insurers will pay out more than $1 billion in rebates this year due to a provision in the 2010 health care overhaul.
A success for ObamaCare? Maybe not. The rebates don’t account for premium increases we’ve already seen during the administration’s time in office. And pressure created by the provision, which caps the percentage of each premium dollar that can be spent on profit, marketing, and administrative costs, is likely to contribute to rising premiums rather than control them. “

“The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 3.4 million people in the individual market will receive $426 million in consumer rebates because of the Affordable Care Act’s new MLR rules… The average cost of employer-provided family health insurance is now about $13,000 per year. A family rebate of perhaps $200 will amount to only about 1.5% of premium for the relatively few people who will even get one.”

“In 2009, during the height of the debate over Obamacare, the law’s architect, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, was all over the op-ed pages, talking about how the bill would reduce the cost of health insurance… His words were trumpeted by the law’s advocates, and were critical to persuading skittish Democrats to vote for the bill. But it turns out that ‘for sure’ doesn’t mean what you thought it did. Because, now, Gruber is quietly telling state governments that the law will significantly increase the cost of insurance. And it will especially do so for young Americans: the ones who most struggle to find affordable health coverage.”

“The article examined colonoscopy, something which many politicians believe in so fervently as preventive care that they included in ObamaCare a provision that waived the Medicare co-pay for the procedure. That will likely result in an increased use of colonoscopy. The article in the NEJM is particularly useful in shedding some light on whether that policy change will be worth it from a dollars-and-cents perspective. The article examined 2,602 patients who had advanced adenomas (large polyps, usually close to 10 millimeters in size) removed via colonoscopy. In the end, the authors estimated that it saved about 13 people from dying of colon cancer.”

“ObamaCare’s core philosophies are standardization and centralization, which in practice will mean higher costs for everyone caused by suffocating price competition. The share of insurance industry revenue that comes from government now stands at 42%, up from 36% just three years ago, and that’s before the new entitlement kicks in. And a wave of ObamaCare-promoted provider consolidation is creating hospital monopolies that can demand higher-than-competitive prices.”

“Medical insurance premiums in the United States are on the rise, the chief architect of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul has told The Daily Caller.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber, who also devised former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s statewide health care reforms, is backtracking on an analysis he provided the White House in support of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, informing officials in three states that the price of insurance premiums will dramatically increase under the reforms.”

“ObamaCare demands that most health plans operate with a medical loss ratio (MLR) of 85 percent (or 80 percent for the individual market). This blog has noted that this regulation is arbitrary, meaningless, and will surely have negative unintended consequences. One of the nation’s top experts on Health Savings Accounts has analyzed these MLR rules and concluded that it will be next to impossible to offer consumer-driven plans under them.”

“A funny thing happened on the way to the so-called health reform promised in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act (PPACA), signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010: Although the cost of health care has increased at a slower rate than in previous years, premiums for health insurance and the share of premiums used for purposes other than paying claims have been increasing faster than in previous years. That’s not exactly what President Obama promised, is it?”

“Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that, ‘Trustmark Life Insurance Company has proposed unreasonable health insurance premium increases in five states—Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming. The excessive rate hikes would affect nearly 10,000 residents across these five states.’… This rate increase action by HHS is just political grandstanding as the Obama administration tries to sell a still unpopular law.
But it is dangerous grandstanding.”