Posts Tagged ‘Economic Forecasters’

ObamaCare Increases Health Cost By $311 Billion While Threatening Access To Care

April 23, 2010

Just in case you didn’t catch it, it’s official: ObamaCare was packaged and sold entirely based on lies.

CMS Study Shows Health Care Law Increases Costs–$311 Billion in 10 Years
By Tom White, on April 23rd, 2010, at 11:43 am

US Senate Morning Briefing

Last night, the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released his long-awaited report on the Democrats’ health care spending bill. The report states, “[W]e estimate that overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion during calendar years 2010-2019. . . .” This was an assessment that was requested by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell prior to the final votes on health care in the House, but CMS told Republicans that they couldn’t complete an analysis in time for the vote. Given the report’s findings, it’s easy to see why Democrats decided to rush ahead with a vote before the report could be completed.Reporting on the CMS analysis last night, the AP wrote, “President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will increase the nation’s health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation. A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama’s aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls. But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15 percent of hospitals into the red and ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.”

But in the run-up to the vote, indeed throughout the year-long debate on health care, Democrats and President Obama repeatedly insisted that their unpopular legislation would control costs and save the government money. In December, President Obama announced, “We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums. Businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) insisted at the beginning of debate in the Senate, “The Republican Leader just a few moments ago says that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false.” And Democrats repeatedly cited a CBO report saying that if all the Medicare cuts are implemented, the bill could save $130 billion over the next decade. This was pointed to by everyone from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to rank-and-file House Democrats like Ohio Rep. John Boccieri.

But as the AP story explains, “The [CMS] report acknowledged that some of the cost-control measures in the bill — Medicare cuts, a tax on high-cost insurance and a commission to seek ongoing Medicare savings — could help reduce the rate of cost increases beyond 2020. But it held out little hope for progress in the first decade. ‘During 2010-2019, however, these effects would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage,’ wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary. ‘Also, the longer-term viability of the Medicare … reductions is doubtful.’”

As Sen. McConnell said when President Obama signed the health care bill, “Most Americans out there aren’t celebrating today. . . . People oppose this bill not because they don’t know what’s in it, but because they know exactly what’s in it. . . . They know you don’t have to slash Medicare by half a trillion dollars to get lower premiums. . . . People know you won’t save money on health care by spending another $2.6 trillion on health care. . . . They know you don’t reduce the deficit by creating a massive new government program that even Democrats have described as a Ponzi scheme. They know you can go a long ways towards doing all these things without creating a brand new entitlement at a time when we can’t even cover the cost of the entitlements we have.”

Once again, studies by neutral observers have shown that Democrats’ claims about their health care bill just do not match reality. This was a flawed bill rushed through because Democrats wanted to “make history.” But Americans know better. At a time of record deficits and debt, this irresponsible health spending bill should be repealed and replaced with legislation that actually addresses health care costs.

All one has to do is look at Obama’s plunging polls in the aftermath of the passage of ObamaCare to verify that the American people did not want and do not want this “boondogglization” of the American health care system.  Polls across the board show Obama’s approval plunging dramatically since health care “reform” was shoved down the nation’s throat: Quinnipiac has Obama’s approval at a lowest-ever-measured 44% – with a majority disapproving of him; top-pollster Rasmussen has Obama at only 47% – with a whopping 52% disapproving of him; and the RCP average has Obama WELL below a 50% approval.  Barack Obama is no longer in any way speaking for or representing the American people.

It turns out this is the same guy who is on tape at least eight times saying all the health care negotiations would all be on C-SPAN – and then he went to closed-door meeting after closed door meeting that resulted in a health care bill that NOBODY knows anything about.  It turns out that this is the same guy who promised he would unite the country in a bipartisan manner – and instead broke that promise and became the most polarizing and divisive president in history.   This is the same guy who said he would NEVER allow health care to pass by the awful partisan reconciliation tactic – and then he did exactly what he promised he wouldn’t do.  This is the guy who repeatedly promised that he wouldn’t tax anyone making less than $250,000 a year – and now everyone knows he’ll break that central, fundamental promise.  This is the same guy who demonized Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for doing what his own chief of staff had just done only the day before.

I can go on.  For example, I can talk about how his administration promised up and down that the $787 billion (subsequently massively upwardly revised to $862 billion) stimulus – which will actually cost $3.27 TRILLION – would keep unemployment under 8%.  Obama sold a massive lie to sell a massive porkulus.  And now we’re paying for a fat pile of lies.

Now we find out that this fundamental liar told yet another massive, fundamental lie.

Now we find out that Barack Obama personally and repeatedly lied to the American people about the cost of his precious boondoggle ObamaCare:

“I pledged that I will not sign health insurance reform — as badly as I think it’s necessary, I won’t sign it if that reform adds even one dime to our deficit over the next decade — and I mean what I say.”

You loathsome, vile LIAR.

You said whatever you thought you needed to say to get the American people to jump into bed with you.  Then you raped them.  And then moved on to the next lie and rape.  And the next lie and rape after that.

Now, you think this is terrible news about the terrible ObamaCare power-grab?  You aint seen NOTHING yet.  Have a gander at this:

Not one of its major programs has gotten started, and already the wheels are starting to come off of Obamacare. The administration’s own actuary reported on Thursday that millions of people could lose their health insurance, that health-care costs will rise faster than they would have if the law hadn’t passed, and that the overhaul will mean that people will have a harder and harder time finding physicians to see them.

The White House is trying to spin the new report from Medicare’s chief actuary Richard Foster as only half bad because it concludes that, while costs will increase, only 23 million people will remain uninsured (instead of 24 million previously estimated).

But looking at the details of Foster’s report shows the many, many danger signs for Obamacare and how many of its promises will be broken:

1. People losing coverage: About 14 million people will lose their employer coverage by 2019, as smaller employers terminate their plans and workers who currently have employer coverage enroll in Medicaid. Half of all seniors on Medicare Advantage could lose their coverage and the extra benefits the plans offer.

2. Huge fines for companies: Businesses will pay $87 billion in penalties in the first five years after the fines trigger in 2014, partly because they can’t afford to offer expensive, government-mandated coverage and partly because some of their employees will apply for taxpayer-subsidized insurance.

3. Higher costs for consumers: Tens of billions of dollars in new fees and excise taxes will be “passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and devices prices and higher premiums,” according to Foster. A separate report shows small businesses will be hit hardest.

4. A program created to fail: The new “CLASS Act” long-term-care insurance program will face “a significant risk of failure,” according to Foster. Indeed, he finds, “there is a very serious risk that the problem of adverse selection will make the CLASS program unsustainable.”

5. Spending increases: Under the new law, national health spending will increase by $311 billion over the coming decade. And instead of bending the federal spending curve down, it will move it upward “by a net total of $251 billion” over the next decade.

6. “Free-riders”: An estimated 23 million people will remain uninsured in 2019, roughly 5 million of whom would be undocumented aliens; the remainder would be the 18 million who decline to get coverage and who will pay the penalty.

7. Spending reductions are fiction
: Estimated reductions in the growth rate of health spending “may not be fully achievable” because “Medicare productivity adjustments could become unsustainable even within the next ten years, and over time the reductions in the scope of employer-sponsored health insurance could also become an issue.”

8. You can’t keep your doctor
: Fifteen percent of all hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers treating Medicare patients could be operating at a loss by 2019, which will “possibly jeopardize access to care for beneficiaries.” Doctors are threatening to drop out of Medicare because cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates mean they can’t even cover their costs.

9. Coverage but no care: A significant portion of those newly eligible for Medicaid will have trouble finding physicians who will see them, and the increased demand for Medicaid services could be difficult to meet.

This is an objective report by administration actuaries that shows this sweeping legislation has serious, serious problems.

And there’s more: Joint Economic Committee Republicans explain in a new report the impact of a rarely mentioned $14.3 billion per year tax on health insurance, effective in 2014. They find this tax will be mostly passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums for private coverage. It will cost the typical family of four with job-based coverage an additional $1,000 a year in higher premiums and will fall largely, and inequitably, on small businesses and their employees.

States are fighting back. The Florida legislature voted Thursday to place a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would ban any laws that compel someone to “participate in any health care system.” It requires a 60 percent vote to succeed. The legislation is modeled after the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, which has been introduced or announced in 42 states.

It just makes you want to cry.  Fifteen percent of hospitals are going to close, tens of thousands of doctors will leave medicine, and yet millions of people are going to start swamping the healthcare rolls.  If I wanted to destroy our healthcare system, that’s how I’d do it.

On top of that – something that will crash the system even sooner – is the fact that more and more healthier people will increasingly pay the fines and opt out of ObamaCare, will more and more sick people enter the system.  The result will be a social catastrophe.  Our very worst enemy couldn’t have engineered our downfall better.

Business after business have been and will continue to be writing down billions and billions of dollars in profits to cover the huge costs of ObamaCare.  These are businesses that would have hired workers, only now the skyrocketing costs of paying for ObamaCare for their employees will keep that hiring to an absolute minimum.

Barack Obama proudly and arrogantly said, “You Can Measure America’s Bottom Line By Looking At Caterpillar’s’” – and then he torpedoed Caterpillar’s bottom line.

Unemployment is going to be soaringly high for years – as even the Obama White House acknowledges.  Now you know why.

What’s the result of the Democrats’ idiotic policies?  Ask Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who just told us that sky-high “unemployment is likely to remain unacceptably high for a long time.”

The unemployment rate “is still terribly high and is going to stay unacceptably high for a very long time,” Geithner said.

Of course, if unemployment is going to stay “unacceptably high” for “a very long time,” you’re pretty much accepting it, aren’t you?

Meanwhile, there will be trillions of dollars in additional spending that Obama and the Democrats refused to allow the CBO to count: such as the SIX TRILLION DOLLARS it will cost Americans to buy ObamaCare policies or face fines.

The Titanic wasn’t as big of a disaster as ObamaCare.  If we can’t repeal and replace it, it will bankrupt the country.


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