ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

Empowering patients with consumer-driven health care is a proven way to reduce the growth in medical costs. ObamaCare empowers government agencies and insurance companies instead of consumers by restricting the ability and of patients to take ownership of their health care decisions. “Rising health care costs represent the largest threat to the nation’s fiscal solvency, and unfortunately, Obamacare does little to change that. But empowering consumers can cut costs.”

A recent study shows approximately $1.2 billion in annual excess costs to the auto insurance industry from cost shifting due to low reimbursement rates from government-run health programs. Thus ObamaCare’s $500 billion in cuts to Medicare payments could lead not only to greater cost-shifting and higher costs for other Americans’ health care, but also to higher costs for auto insurance.

Democrats officially titled ObamaCare the “Affordable Care Act,” but medical costs for Americans are guaranteed to continue to rise. The weak measures to control costs don’t begin for years, but the new regulations, taxes, and mandates will start much sooner. “What makes Democrats more immediately vulnerable is what’s going to happen to people’s health insurance costs next year. They’re going up. At least that’s the finding of a new report from the consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers.”

Even though the majority of ObamaCare’s costly provisions don’t start until 2014, that doesn’t mean the bill won’t raise premiums next year. An expert with Fidelity Consulting Services estimates ObamaCare’s new provisions for 2011 alone will result in premium increases of 2 to 3 percent because of added costs for insuring young adults, removing benefit caps, and new mandates for preventive care.

Despite President Obama’s continual insistence that if you like your plan, you can keep it, his own administration’s preliminary analysis indicates that, for about half of all Americans, this might not be so. According to the analysis’s “midrange estimate,” 45 percent of large employer plans and 66 percent of small employer plans would lose their grandfathered status by the end of 2013.

As a so-called improvement to the insurance market, ObamaCare outlaws many inexpensive, more affordable types of insurance to force people into Washington-approved, comprehensive plans that are more expensive which “could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms.”

“Even Bill Clinton’s economic advisers warned during the HillaryCare debates that imposing price controls would be difficult to implement and were likely to produce adverse effects. But those lessons appear not to have been passed on to the current administration, which seems determined to turn health insurance into an all-but government-run quasi-public utility.”

If Senator Dianne Feinstein’s introduction of a bill allowing the federal government to regulate insurance rates is any indication, Congressional Democrats’ faith in ObamaCare’s ability to rein in soaring health costs — as they assured Americans it would do — already seems to be wavering.

Though ObamaCare’s “Cadillac plan” tax was designed to affect only employers with extravagant health benefit plans, an analysis by the global professional services company Towers Watson, using data from its 2010 Health Care Cost Survey, reveals that more than 60% of large employers’ health-care plans could be subject to this tax when it goes into effect in 2018.

According to a survey by the Council of Insurance Agents And Brokers, the vast majority of employers face raising insurance costs and pass those costs to their employees, despite President Obama’s promises that families would see their annual premiums reduced by $2,500.