The Obama Administration has made big promises about lowering premium costs for families and businesses, so they are making a variety of arguments to pretend ObamaCare will save money. But claims that the law will produce large reductions in the “hidden tax” Americans pay for uncompensated care for the uninsured are significantly overblown.
The Congressional Budget Office has determined that ObamaCare’s program to create high-risk pools to cover the uninsured until 2014 will fail unless they are heavily restricted or cost an extra $5 to $10 billion. “Healthcare reform’s high-risk insurance pools could end up excluding hundreds of thousands of Americans or costing three times more than what’s budgeted now, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.”
Early retiree insurance costs are significant for many employers, and one of ObamaCare’s selling points was $5 billion in new funds to be given away to companies to cover those costs. But the fund won’t help much and businesses won’t get the benefits they were promised, because the fund is so small it will quickly run out. “Confusion over how the money will be distributed is frustrating employers, consultants and applicants say. ‘They’re already getting nervous,’ said Derek Guyton, a partner and actuary with human resources consultancy Mercer LLC in Chicago. ‘At some point, the money will just run out,’ he insists. Mr. Guyton said midsize employers are questioning whether it’s worth applying for the funding since it requires time-consuming calculations.”
Funding to cover the uninsured in state-based, high risk pools until the new insurance subsidies are rolled out is woefully inadequate and would cover less than 10 percent of those eligible, according to studies.
“Should everyone be required to have health insurance? The short answer is no.”
The White House announces regulations for implementing ObamaCare’s federal mandate that employer-sponsored or individually purchased policies must offer coverage to subscribers’ children if these “youths” are under the age of 26 — with the increased costs being borne by all families with employer-sponsored insurance.
Large firms have a strong incentive to drop coverage under the new health law.
In perhaps the most authoritative study to date on ObamaCare’s likely impact on insurance premiums, the Oliver Wyman consulting firm spent eight months developing a model to gauge the legislation’s effects, drawing on a database of actual insurance information for nearly 6 million people. The firm’s analysis of the Senate bill (which, in connection with the Reconciliation Act, became law) concludes that its weak individual mandate wouldn’t coax high participation among younger and healthier people; that its other mandates (requiring more expensive coverage and not allowing insurers to charge applicants based on the likely costs of their care) would encourage high participation among older and less-healthy people; that adverse selection would result; and that premiums would therefore rise dramatically. Within five years, the average family’s insurance premiums would be $3,341 higher with ObamaCare than without it, the average individual’s premiums would be $1,576 higher, and overall insurance costs would be 54 percent higher — above and beyond the impact of medical inflation.