ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“On the eve of a House vote to repeal ObamaCare, the Department of Health and Human Services has released a report claiming that if repeal succeeds, ‘1 in 2 non-elderly Americans could be denied coverage or charged more due to a pre-existing condition.’ A few problems with that claim…”

“Hayek’s most famous insight, about the indispensible informational function of the price mechanism, in his most famous paper, ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society’, comes in the course of an argument to the effect that central economic planning boards are bound to fail. On it’s face, it’s hard to agree that the Affordable Care Act does much to incorporate the fundamental Hayekian lesson when one of its key provisions is the establishment of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a sort of central price-setting committee thought by its advocates necessary to contain the runaway cost of the American health-care system.”

ObamaCare gives the government sweeping new powers to micromanage insurance policies. Their one-size-fits-all decisions are almost guaranteed to fail. “Draw up a package that is too bare-bones, and millions of Americans could be deprived of meaningful health-care coverage when they need it most – undercutting a central goal of the new law. Add in too many expensive benefits, and premiums could spike to unaffordable levels.”

“The long-term care pharmacy lobby says a proposed regulation that aims to reduce waste would end up raising prices for the Medicare Part D prescription program and taxpayers with little benefit to show for it.”

“Calling these rules ‘consumer protections’ implies that the people harmed don’t matter, or one has clairvoyance to know that the benefits outweigh the costs.
ObamaCare supporters should call these supposed consumer protections what they are: regulations that can hurt even more than they help.”

“Regional variation in Medicare spending is not correlated with variation in non-Medicare spending, and variation in non-Medicare spending is associated with measures of disease burden and health status. The data indicate that something is deeply wrong not with the doctors or the patients but with Medicare’s payment system, service mix, and incentives.”

“Thanks to Obamacare, the one bright light in many people’s complicated and burdensome health-care spending plans is about to be taken away. That little bit of tax-free medical spending that some of us have enjoyed for years, the health savings plans and the pretax money they provided for over-the-counter remedies . . . cough syrup, saline solution and even toothpaste . . . now will require a doctor’s note.”

“An early feature of the new health-care law that allows people who are already sick to get insurance to cover their medical costs isn’t attracting as many customers as expected. In the meantime, in at least a few states, claims for medical care covered by the “high-risk pools” are proving very costly, and it is an open question whether the $5 billion allotted by Congress to start up the plans will be sufficient.”

“One of the few programs already active in Obamacare is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program, a temporary measure that provides money for states to establish high-risk health insurance pools for people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, the program’s results so far leave much to be desired.”

“Under the 136-page rule, the federal government will now decide what counts as an ‘unreasonable’ rate increase, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote to Governors yesterday urging them ‘to prevent unjustified and excessive health insurance premium growth.’ Apparently, ‘unreasonable’ means rate increases that exceed 10% next year, except when it doesn’t. If an insurer crosses this arbitrary threshold, ‘The review process would then determine if the increase is, in fact, unreasonable.’ So that’s cleared up.”