ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.
“Does President Obama have any idea what’s in his own health-care reform law? Since he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a bit more than 100 days ago, the president has given a number of speeches and interviews in which he continues to say things that, well, just aren’t so. Just last Friday, he told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that the law ‘not only makes sure everybody has access to coverage but is reducing costs.’ Wrong on both counts.”
Rules forcing insurers to cover certain procedures without any out-of-pocket costs doesn’t make them free as most reports claim, it just makes them pre-paid. “Each use of ‘free’ and ‘no cost’ in these excerpts is false, even within its original context. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a cost. No government can change that. Mandating that insurers cover certain services does not magically make them free. Consumers still pay, just in the form of higher health insurance premiums and lower wages.”
ObamaCare includes new mandates which require all insurance companies to provide “free” preventive care, with no co-pays or deductibles. Of course, patients will still be paying for it, but the costs will instead be built into increased insurance premiums to pay for the new requirements. A government board will be deciding what does or does not qualify as preventive. “The rules stipulate that no co-payments can be charged for tests and screenings recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of scientific experts. The rules apply to new health plans that begin coverage after Sept. 23 and to existing health plans that make significant changes after that date. The administration said the requirements could increase premiums by 1.5 percent, on average.”
“I think what is interesting is how poorly the law stacks up against its proponents’ own criteria. The new law fails to control rising health-care costs or increasing health-insurance premiums. In fact, the legislation will actually increase U.S. health-care spending by $311 billion over ten years. Insurance premiums will roughly double over the next six years, roughly what was expected before the law passed. It doesn’t restructure programs in a way to improve quality… By 2019, there will still be 21 million uninsured Americans, and nearly half of those who do get coverage under this law are merely thrown into Medicaid. Many other touted reforms come with surprisingly high price tags. For example, sure you can now keep your children on you insurance plan through age 26, but it will cost them an average of $3,380 per year per child in higher premiums. Even if you believed completely in President Obama’s goals, it’s hard to see what there is to like about this law.”
Maine’s Insurance Commissioner is requesting an exemption from the onerous new “medical loss ratio” regulations in ObamaCare. It would likely force one of the state’s larger insurers out of the market, greatly restricting choice and competition.
ObamaCare is substantially worse than most people think. “The length and complexity of the legislation, combined with a debate that often generated more heat than light, has led to massive confusion about the law’s likely impact. But, it is now possible to analyze what is and is not in it, what it likely will and will not do. In short, the more we learn about what is in this new law, the more it looks like bad news for American taxpayers, businesses, health-care providers, and patients.”
“As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn’t be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state’s universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day, which is the inevitable result of a health system dominated by politics.”
Real health-care reform — of the kind that would lower costs, rather than raise them — would require increasing Americans’ control of their own health-care dollars and making prices more transparent, but ObamaCare would merely increase government control and funnel more of Americans’ money to insurers, whether they want it to go there or not.
“Anyone wanting a preview of Obama-Care need just focus on Massachusetts, the state that provided the blueprint for Obama’s plan. It makes a great case for making haste in repealing ObamaCare.”
When campaigning, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick promised to lower health insurance costs for families. When the tightly regulated Massachusetts insurance market resulted in increased premium costs, he turned to price controls. Insurers successfully appealed to have the Administration’s rate freezes overturned, because they would lead to insurers going out of business. ObamaCare is structured with similar regulations as the Massachusetts health system, and Obama made the same promises about lowering premiums, which are proving impossible to fulfill, so federal price controls might be in our near future.