ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“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.”

“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. “