ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.
“This paper presents updated national health spending projections for 2009–2019 that take into account recent comprehensive health reform legislation and other relevant changes in law and regulations. Relative to our February 2010 projections under prior law, average annual growth in national health spending over the projection period is estimated to be 0.2 percentage point higher than our previous estimate. The health care share of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to be 0.3 percentage point higher in 2019. Within these net overall impacts are larger differences for trends in spending and spending growth by payer, attributable to reform’s many major changes to health care coverage and financing.”
The government’s Medicare actuaries determined that national health spending would increase under ObamaCare, with families paying an average of $265 more annually. This is assuming Congress allows hundred of billions in Medicare spending cuts to be enacted, which they have consistently voted to repeal. “Factoring in the law, Americans will spend an average of $13,652 per person a year on health care in 2019, according to the actuary’s office. Without the law, the corresponding number would be $13,387. That works out to $265 more with the overhaul. The big picture numbers are $4.6 trillion with the overhaul in 2019, and $4.5 trillion without it. The nation will spend $2.6 trillion on health care this year.”
“Actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported today in Health Affairs that overall health spending will constitute 20 percent of the economy by 2019, up from 17 percent now. An Associated Press article about the report says that ‘factoring in the law, Americans will spend an average of $13,652 per person a year on health care in 2019. . . . Without the law, the corresponding number would be $13,387. That works out to $265 more with the overhaul.’That hardly ‘bends the cost curve down,’ as Mr. Obama and his allies in Congress repeatedly promised the law would do. And it does not take the burden of rising health-care costs off the backs of struggling consumers or businesses — again, as they promised.”
ObamaCare’s new mandates and regulations are causing insurers to significantly raise premiums or drop out of the market and cancel existing policies. This directly contradicts promises by supporters that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. “In the letter sent to the Alcantaras and other customers, Grand Prairie-based National Health Insurance Co. said it could no longer offer individual accident and health insurance policies. It blamed its decision on the company’s inability to meet requirements of the health care overhaul signed into law this year.”
ObamaCare was supposed to have “bent the cost curve” and lowered health spending in family budgets and the federal budget. But it does nothing to lower costs, and Instead the huge new government program will accelerate spending growth.
“Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats’ efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections. Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators. These and other insurers say Congress’s landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted.”
Regulators are discussing how to write regulations governing ObamaCare’s rules on “medical-loss ratios” which restrict the operating flexibility of insurers. “Democrats prefer an extremely narrow definition, the better to hasten the conversion of insurance companies into public utilities. This political pressure is giving most state commissioners night sweats, because they’re responsible for preventing coverage disruptions and premium increases in the insurance markets they oversee. When the commissioners met last week in Seattle, they largely declined to endorse the medical loss restrictions that Democrats favor.”
ObamaCare will restrict the ability of colleges to give students low-cost health plans. “As the new law currently stands, it’s unclear whether student health plans would meet federal requirements to qualify as minimum essential coverage. If they don’t, students would have to find coverage elsewhere or pay the individual mandate in addition to the premiums of their student health plan.”
Despite promises from the President that his health care law would not make anyone lose their current health plan, colleges will soon stop offering low-cost plans to students. Since young people are unlikely to need the expensive plans mandated by ObamaCare, colleges are able to offer inexpensive plans. ObamaCare will change all that, as new coverage mandates will be implemented. “Without a number of changes, it may be impossible ‘to continue to offer student health plans,’ says an Aug. 12 letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from the American Council on Education and signed by 12 other trade associations representing colleges.”
Blue Cross of North Carolina announced their rate increases for next year and blamed ObamaCare regulations for some of the added costs. “While citing rising medical care costs as a primary driver in the proposed rate increases, company officials said provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health care reform law also will impact rates charged under the two plans. Those provisions include requiring insurers to remove the cap on lifetime benefits, enhance preventive care coverage and allow unlimited mental health services, prescription drugs and other types of care.”