Grace-Marie Turner has written an excellent article at The New York Times that should serve as a reminder that even if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, there are still many reasons to oppose the remainder of ObamaCare. Ms. Turner’s top 10 reasons to still oppose ObamaCare include:
1. Employer Mandate.
2. Conscience Mandate.
3. New and Higher Taxes.
4. The Independent Payment Advisory Board.
5. State Exchanges.
6. Medicare Payment Cuts.
7. Higher Health Costs.
8. Government Control over Doctor Decisions.
9. Huge Deficits.
10. More than 150 New Boards, Agencies and Programs.
Ms. Turner explains each of these issues in more detail and you read her full article here.
A new article at The Apothecary details how many well-intended (but misguided) government policies have increased health insurance costs. As costs increase, more people drop health insurance or opt-out either because they cannot afford the higher prices or the do a simple cost-benefit analysis and decide that the benefit is no longer worth the cost. In either case, it is government mandates and policies that drive up costs with the end results being fewer people with insurance. ObamaCare repeats many of the failed policies of the past which will make the problems associated with higher cost health insurance even worse. Read the full commentary here.
Dr. Jill Vecchio, a Colorado physician, has produced a seven-part video series about the impact of ObamaCare. The videos include the following subjects: (Part 1) who will be covered; (Parts 2 and 3) what are the costs; (Part 4) state exchanges and employers; (Part 5) doctors and patients; (Part 6) Constitutional issues; and (Part 7) ideas for real healthcare reform.
The videos are certainly worth watching and we hope you will take the time to learn more about how ObamaCare will affect you and your family:
A new report from HHS has some troubling information on a specific part of ObamaCare – high risk pools. HIgh risk pools is an alternative to provide health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions who are unable to obtain coverage from alternative sources. In such a pool, the government assumes the financial burden to provide healthcare to those who qualify for the pool.
ObamaCare, which radically transforms America’s health care system and which worked well for the vast majority of Americans, was passed because, we were told, it was dangerous for 50 million people to be uninsured and that the uninsured – with their catastrophic costs – were dragging down the system. How does this hold up to reality? According to The Apothecary
, only 48,879 people with pre-existing conditions have enrolled in the high risk pools. The number of enrollees is less than anticipated but the cost per enrollee has been far greater than expected. While the government was expected to pay $13,026 per enrollee the actual cost is come in at more than twice that figure at $28,994.
And has this number been well-targeted in proportion to the demographics of the uninsured? In a word, no. While 55% of the uninsured were under the age of 35 (approximately 27.5 million people) only 21% of the same group enrolled in a high-risk pool. That means that of those under the age of 35, 10,200-some people enrolled in a high-risk pool out of 27.5 million people uninsured in that group – or 3/100ths of 1 percent.
According to The Heritage Foundation, ObamaCare is driving a dramatic rise in health insurance premiums. Among the cost-drivers is a provision of ObamaCare that has already taken effect – that is the requirement to cover adult children up to age 26. AHEC has previously noted that this provision would skew the marketplace, by encouraging only the most sick to take advantage of this provision, thereby dramatically increasing prices for employers and employees. (Read AHEC’s March 2011 Newsletter for an explanation).
But the really bad news for employees and employers is that the real impact of ObamaCare, and all of its negative consequences, is yet to kick in.
According to the actuaries at CMS, health care costs and insurance costs will grow faster under ObamaCare than without. Here is what some commentators had to say about the CMS numbers:
- Our friends at Docs4PatientCare write: “Under the PPACA, spending to fund government health care bureaucracy and administration will increase dramatically (14.6% growth in 2014), growing more than twice as fast as spending on health care itself. For comparison, spending on hospital care is expected to grow by 7.2 percent and physician and clinical services by 8.9 percent. (It is also worth noting that the increase in spending on bureaucracy is 16.2 times greater than the nation’s anticipated population growth).
- Avik Roy writes for Forbes that: “contrary to the President, the actuaries find that Obamacare will dramatically increase the near-term growth rate of health care costs. In 2014, the actuaries find that growth in the net cost of health insurance will increase by nearly 14 percent, compared to 3.5% if PPACA had never passed. The growth rate of private insurance costs will rise to 9.4 percent, from 5.0 percent under prior law: an 88% increase.”
- Sally Pipes writes about this latest information: “So ObamaCare is certainly fueling the expansion of government health care. But as the Medicare actuaries’ work shows, it’s also driving up health costs for private payers as well. In 2014, costs in many major sectors of the health care market are expected to be much higher than they would be without ObamaCare’s ‘reforms'”
- Docs4PatientCare also notes: “According to the report, “out-of-pocket” spending [on health care] is projected to decline by 1.3 percent…. But this is not good news….. This kind of shift is not without costs, as it will: reduce incentives for patients to seek less expensive alternatives; make the health care system less transparent; and lead to more expensive health insurance.”
UPDATE 1: While perhaps related, South Carolina has decided to raise the amount of premiums required to be paid by the state’s workforce for their health insurance.
UPDATE 2: See HealthAffairs blog on the same subject (more numbers, less analysis).
UPDATE 3: Senate Finance Committee staff has a breakdown on these numbers as we
According to media reports, the Georgia House of Representatives has passed the healthcare compact. The bill passed 108-63. Also in Georgia, the House has sent another bill – that would have established the ObamaCare exchanges in Georgia – back to the Rules Committee. This means that the bill to set up the exchange in Georgia is postponed for the remainder of the year.
AHEC has explained that the exchanges are the gateway to full implementation of ObamaCare: here, here and here. The exchanges will sell heavily regulated insurance policies and will be the only place where people can use the ObamaCare subsidies to purchase insurance. By its’ action, the Georgia House is making the right decision and is saying “we will” in response to the question “who decides” who should regulate healthcare – the feds or the states.