ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“A new Obama administration rule could drive out of the market the low-cost, high deductible plans that are supposed to be available under ObamaCare. That would likely mean a sharp jump in taxpayer subsidies. The problem stems in large part from contradictions in the hastily written health care overhaul.”

“Many people who are patients of Huntsville Hospital’s doctors or facilities have contacted WHNT News 19 about a new, $25 annual fee. Those who’ve emailed us say they do not understand why they are being asked to pay this fee on top of their co-pays… Ingram says President Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill has buried doctors under mountains of new forms. He says that means increased costs to the doctors to hire people to do all that paperwork.”

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the new health reform law — contains financial incentives for the states to establish health insurance exchanges where qualifying individuals and small businesses can purchase subsidized, individual health insurance, starting in 2014.
The structure of the exchange subsidies will encourage low-income workers to congregate in companies that do not provide insurance and high-income employees to work for firms that do provide it.”

“The federal insurance subsidies and tax credits are among the few popular features of the law. But they won’t remain that way as Americans learn more about them. ObamaCare provides subsidies to those whose incomes fall between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and who do not have access to federally defined “affordable” coverage through their employer. All other Americans — including those in the exact same income bracket — will not be eligible to receive subsidies.”

“The 2010 healthcare law contains a tax on the health insurance policies that most small businesses purchase… Estimates predict the tax will raise the cost of employer-sponsored insurance by 2% – 3%, imposing a cumulative cost of nearly $5,000 per family by 2020. The NFIB Research Foundation’s BSIM model suggests that such price increases will reduce private sector employment by 125,000 to 249,000 jobs in 2021, with 59 percent of those losses falling on small business.”

“We’re economists, not political consultants, so we offer no unique insight on whether the administration’s proposed rule will hold in the face of political pressure. But we do know that this unpopular definition and its possible revision hold significant implications for everyone impacted by this law’s provisions. Either millions of dependent families of employees will be stuck without an offer of affordable coverage-or taxpayers will be stuck with significantly more subsidy costs than originally projected.”

“ObamaCare’s rate review regulations are premised on the notion that rising health insurance premiums are somehow caused by excess profits and wasteful spending. But insurer profits are actually quite small. The Congressional Research Service reports that in 2009, health insurers’ average profit margin was just 2.6%. The cost of insurance is rising because the cost of health care has increased dramatically. True health reform would’ve addressed this underlying problem.”

“Last Thursday, the Institute of Medicine finally released its long-awaited set of recommendations for how the Secretary of Health and Human Services should accomplish the impossible–determining the ‘essential health benefits’ for tens of millions of Americans under the to-be-implemented Affordable Care Act. Early reviews indicate that, not surprisingly, there is no way to please everyone, or perhaps even anyone, in this highly political exercise. The countervailing pressures ‘essentially’ are that one side wants to ensure that benefits are more comprehensive and generous to ensure that everyone either gets what they want, or what other interests and experts think they must get anyway. “

“ObamaCare drives up the cost of insurance by piling mandates and required coverage benefits onto every single policy.
Consider the so-called “slacker mandate,” which requires all family policies to cover adult children until they turn 26. According to a recent federal report, nearly 1 million young adults gained health coverage this year thanks to the mandate.
Of course, adding them to their parents’ policies isn’t free. Towers Watson found that the rise in young-adult enrollment was responsible for premium increases of as much as 3% at many firms.”

“Overall, PPACA is anticipated to increase costs by an average of 1.5% in 2011 across the surveyed health plans. Other surveys have offered similar cost estimates. However, it is important to understand that these averages cannot be easily extrapolated to any particular health insurance policy or across different lines of business… Overall, for 2011 health plans reported estimated increases due to PPACA of 4.7% for individual policies, 1.5% for small group plans, and 0.8% for large group plans on a weighted average basis. These impacts are additive to the other trend components discussed previously.”