ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“The bad news for ObamaCare’s proponents? ObamaCare won’t help contain health costs, as the president so often claimed while lobbying for passage of his reform package. Instead, it will exacerbate them. Remember his oft-repeated statement that his plan would ‘cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.’ As the CBO rightly explained, premiums will rise by $2,100.”

“Reformers are mostly right when they argue that Congress hasn’t done a great job of controlling health costs or the growth of tax-financed health spending. But where they go wrong is in thinking that a small number of experts in positions of government-granted authority will somehow be more successful. The basic problem with the bureauwonk model of health reform is that it assumes that technocrats can not only identify but successfully scale local innovation to the national level.”

“In a truly market-based insurance exchange, women would be able to choose a health plan that met their needs and was consistent with their values, and those who wished to forgo certain benefits would have the freedom to do so. If any attempt at health reform is to succeed at reducing costs and tailoring coverage to the specific needs of each individual, it must ensure that consumers are able to choose the plan and benefits that work best for them, rather than submitting to the decisions of a bureaucratic board.”

“A major provision of the healthcare reform law designed to prevent businesses from dropping coverage for their workers could inadvertently leave families without access to subsidized health insurance. The problem is a huge headache for the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, because it could leave families unable to buy affordable health insurance when the healthcare law requires that everyone be insured starting in 2014.”

“The 2010 health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), hits small business with a barrage of inequities. Among the most egregious is the health insurance tax (HIT) launched by the law’s Section 9010. Ostensibly a tax on insurers, its real effect will be hundreds of billions of dollars of taxation on people who purchase coverage in the fully-insured market – mostly small business employers and employees and the self-employed. These are the people who usually generate around two-thirds of America’s new jobs.”

“What happens when individual states don’t follow the federal government’s orders under ObamaCare? The federal government takes over. Today, Obama’s Health and Human Services department announced that the some part of the health insurance rate review programs in 10 states were not yet up to snuff—and federal officials could elbow past state authorities to conduct the rate reviews themselves.”

“In addition to being transparently political, these provisions have negative practical implications. For example, the proposed rule setting an arbitrary 10 percent price-increase threshold could cause insurers to target rate increases to just below the limit. Indeed, it is a well-documented effect of price controls that sellers respond to the imposition of price ‘ceilings’ by turning them into price ‘floors.’ The less competitive the market on which price controls are imposed, the sooner that phenomenon occurs.”

“But what’s most important about the report is how it reveals, yet again, that the folks running the ObamaCare show are aware of the effects the law will have on the price of insurance. Like the Obama administration’s decision to grant the state of Maine a waiver from ObamaCare’s medical loss ratio requirement, the GAO’s description of the waiver process is about as straightforward an admission as anyone is likely to get fulfilling ObamaCare’s new insurance requirements does indeed drive up premium prices and/or reduce health insurance benefits.”

“The cost and quality of healthcare will get worse because of healthcare reform rules that let the federal government review rates and set limits on how insurance companies spend their money, small businesses and insurance agents said Thursday.”

“A key government experiment that set out to lower costs and coordinate care for Medicare patients — now the blueprint for an innovation the Obama administration is trying to move to a national scale — has failed to save a substantial amount of money. The five-year test enlisted 10 leading health systems around the country and offered financial bonuses if they could save enough by treating older patients more efficiently while providing high-quality care.”