“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has just published, in two reports, its updated score of the 2010 health care law. The new score is bad news from almost any vantage point. CBO’s fiscal evaluation of the law is worse than before, even though the number of people receiving health insurance coverage is now projected to be fewer.”

“What the report doesn’t cover is the fact that the other legs of the ObamaCare stool designed to expand insurance coverage — the individual mandate, the employer mandate and the state insurance exchanges — are also buckling. As a result, ObamaCare will likely cover far fewer uninsured than advertised. There’s even a chance that, if all goes wrong, it could actually make the uninsured problem worse.”

“While it is too early to make a definitive connection, it appears that the regulation encourages young adults to switch from obtaining coverage on their own, where they will pay additional costs, to obtaining coverage as dependents, where parents and parents’ employers will foot the bill. The regulation hence simply shifts costs from one group of people (young adults) to another (their parents and parents’ employers). This sort of distortion contributes to increases in premiums that the Administration expects in response to the regulation.”

“The fact that the Administration is pulling back incentives to enroll in its high-risk pool may signify its acceptance that the pre-existing condition problem is nowhere near as big as it was portrayed during the health care debate. This is yet another reminder that Obamacare isn’t just terrible health policy with disastrous consequences; it’s overreaching, taxpayer-funded programs that our country didn’t need.”

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is designed to extend health-insurance coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans. Rarely is it mentioned, however, that Medicaid, the government-run health-insurance program for the poor, will provide more than half of that new coverage under the law. The PPACA assigns Medicaid this central role, despite long-standing concerns about Medicaid’s costs and the quality of its care.”

“About 16 million people — half of the 32 million who are expected to get health coverage under the new health law — will be enrolled in Medicaid in January of 2014, with almost no changes to improve or modernize the cumbersome, complex, and wasteful program. This large Medicaid expansion could have catastrophic effects on those who provide society’s health care safety net.”

“On March 13, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated its score of Obamacare, announcing that the program is $48 billion cheaper than in its previous 2011 score.
The primary reason for this change is that more individuals will lose their employer-provided coverage than originally anticipated, and the government will collect $99 billion more in taxes and penalties. CBO also finds that there are more uninsured individuals.
In short, this new CBO update continues the trend of Obamacare becoming increasingly expensive and decreasingly effective with each new scoring update.”

“When the health care law passed nearly two years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the temporary insurance pools meant to carry the high-risk uninsured until the coverage expansion kicked in would tear through their $5 billion budget in no time.
That didn’t happen.”

“Undoubtedly, it’s true that some of those individuals did get coverage due to that provision, but HHS claiming credit for Obamacare for all of the increase appears to be an example of the classic statistical fallacy of confusing correlation with causation. Even more importantly, over the long term, the net effect of Obamacare’s many provisions will be to increase the already unaffordable cost of health care, which is one of the main reasons young adults and other uninsured forego coverage.”

“Before ObamaCare’s state-based high risk pool program—the pre-existing condition insurance plan (PCIP)—went into effect, critics (including me) warned that enrollment in the program would run high and that as a result the program would go over budget. In California, at least, it turns out that prediction was half wrong. Enrollment in the program is much lower than expected. But program administrators are now worried it might go over budget anyway.”