ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“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.”

“A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation underlines that many of the promises surrounding President Obama’s health care legislation remain unfulfilled, though the White House argues that change is coming. Workers at the Flora Venture flower shop in Newmarket, NH, remember when presidential candidate named Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., promised that their health care costs would go down if they elected him and his health care plan was enacted… Last year workers at the flower shop saw their insurance premiums shoot up 41 percent.”

“The cost for businesses to buy health coverage for workers rose the most this year since 2005 and may reach $32,175 for a family in 2021, according to a survey of private and public employers… The health law enacted last year accounts for 1 to 2 percentage points of the premium increases in 2011, said Drew Altman, chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

“Ohioans who buy individual insurance policies could see their premiums jump 55 to 85 percent in 2014 when key provisions of the new federal health-care law kick in, according to a new report. Rates also are expected to increase for those with employer-sponsored coverage but not nearly as much. “

“Because of a quirk in ObamaCare, people who buy health insurance through a federally run exchange may not be eligible for premium subsidies… Section 1311 of ObamaCare instructs state governments to set up an exchange. If a state refuses, Section 1321 lets the federal government establish an exchange in the state. Yet ObamaCare states that the tax credit is available to people who are enrolled in an ‘an exchange established by the state under (Section) 1311.’ It makes no mention of people enrolled in federal exchanges being eligible for the tax credit.”

“Seventy-five percent of respondents to the Health Care Reform Readiness Survey said they believe healthcare costs will increase due to healthcare reform; 43 percent said they expect the increase to be significant. The Health Care Reform Readiness Survey, released by Buck Consultants, a human resource and benefits consulting firm that is a subsidiary of A Xerox Company, is based on responses from more than 200 professionals at healthcare organizations in the United States.”

“Now, there’s a new study that suggests that employer dumping under Obamacare could be significant, leading to an explosion of the law’s costs and thereby the federal debt. A working paper by economists Richard Burkhauser and Sean Lyons of Cornell and Kosali Simon of Indiana, published by the National Bureau for Economic Research, examined various reasonable assumptions regarding the behavior of employers under the law.”