The president's Obamacare promises on health care costs an illusion

Senate Republicans sent out an interesting email that pulls together information from government agencies and media sources that shows most of the president's promises on controlling health care costs for families and employers to be an illusion.

From the CMS:

PROMISE: “…it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” (President Obama, 9/9/09)

REALITY: “The combined effects of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions, faster economic growth, and population aging are expected to fuel health spending growth this year and thereafter (5.6 percent in 2014 and 6.0 percent per year for 2015–23).” (Office of the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “National Health Expenditure Projections, 2013-23”, Health Affairs, October 2014)

The significance is that health care costs had been rising at only a 4% clip since 2008. Experts say this is mostly due to the recession, but growth in the earlier part of the decade was also slowed compared to the previous two decades. The administration is trying to spin the numbers to make us believe that Obamacare is slowing the rate of growth in health care spending, but numerous other factors are actually at work.

Meanwhile, health care costs for familes are on the rise:

“One challenge facing consumers will be wide swings in prices. Some insurers are seeking double-digit price increases…” (“Experts Bracing For New Set Of Challenges In Year 2 Of Health Care Law,” The New York Times, 9/2/14)

“Rates will be a mixed bag… the average premium increase would be 8%, according to PwC's Health Research Institute. But the individual moves ranged from proposed 23% cuts for two plans to increases of more than 30% for a few other plans.” (“With Health-Law Marketplaces Reopening, Insurers Brace For Round Two,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/3/14)

 *  “In Arkansas, where the average increase was 11.2 percent, some consumers could see their premiums soar by 50 percent.” (“Obamacare Rates Are Rising Once Again,” Washington Examiner, 8/21/14)

* the change in premiums varies a lot … from no increase to 35 percent higher in Indiana.” (“Here's What's Going On With Obamacare Premium Increases,” Huffington Post, 8/21/14)

And for employers and their employees, some rude surprises:

“Many businesses said Obamacare is jacking up their employee health coverage costs, and they expect it to do so even more next year, two new surveys of businesses by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have found.” (“NY Fed: Firms 'Widely' See Obamacare Boosting Health Costs,” CNBC, 8/18/14)

AMERICAN HEALTH POLICY INSTITUTE: “…the ACA imposes additional costs of $4,800 to $5,900 per employee over the course of a decade.” (American Health Policy Institute, “The Health Care Employment Squeeze: Labor Day 2014,” p. 3)

INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION OF EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS: “…nearly one in six employers with 50 or fewer employees has reduced its workforce in response to ACA-related costs … one in ten has reduced hiring in order to stay under the 50-employee ACA threshold for small employers.” (American Health Policy Institute, “The Health Care Employment Squeeze: Labor Day 2014,” p. 4)

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF PHILADELPHIA: “…18.2 percent of manufacturing employers have reduced both jobs and employees as a result of the ACA, while just 3 percent were hiring more.” (American Health Policy Institute, “The Health Care Employment Squeeze: Labor Day 2014,” p. 4)

And be prepared for massive confusion at tax time next year, when the IRS does what it does best; creates complex forms that no one understands and everyone is likely to make errors on.

Will people eventually get mad enough to demand repeal? The cumulative effect of all these disasters may be telling. If 10% of workers are switched to part time so that employers can avoid paying insurance for them, will that do it?

I've given up depending on the people at large to get mad about anything. They sit there and take it. They figure there's nothing they can do, so they acquiesce in this madness.

And if we have a meltdown because of Obamacare, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.



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