American Elephants

Not Quite As Advertised! by The Elephant's Child
April 24, 2010, 1:08 am
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Politics, Statism | Tags: , ,

Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, points out some of the danger signs for ObamaCare revealed in the actuary report.  The White House  says that only 23 million people will remain uninsured, instead of the previously estimated 24 million.  The bill won’t really take effect until 2014, but there seems to be plenty of trouble ahead.

Here are the danger spots, as Ms. Turner lists them:

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

2.  Big fines for companies: Businesses will pay $878 billion in penalties in the first five years after the fines trigger in 2014, partly because they can’t afford to offer government-mandated insurance, and because some employees will apply for taxpayer-subsidized insurance.

3. Tens of billions in new fees and excise taxes will “be passed through to consumers in the form of higher drug and devices prices and higher premiums.  Small businesses will be hardest hit.

4.  The “CLASS Act” long-term-care insurance will face a significant risk of failure.  There is a serious risk that the program will be unsustainable.

5.  National health spending will increase by $311 billion over the coming decade.  The federal spending curve will increase by a net total of $251 billion over the next ten years.

6. An estimated 23 million will remain uninsured by 2019, 5 million undocumented aliens, and 18 million who pay the penalty rather than buy insurance.

7. Estimated reductions in the growth rate of health spending “may not be fully achievable” because productivity adjustments could become unsustainable even within 10 years

8. Fifteen percent of all hospitals, nursing homes and other providers treating Medicare patients could be operating at a loss by 2019, which will jeopardize care for beneficiaries.  Doctors are threatening to drop Medicare if reimbursement rates mean they can’t cover their costs.

9. A significant number of those newly eligible for Medicaid will have trouble finding physicians who will see them.

Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee explain in a new report the impact of a #14.3 billion per year tax on health insurance, effective in 2014.  This tax will be 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 and will fall more often on small businesses and their employees.

These things stand out at this point, but there are many more money-saving claims that Democrats have made, that seem  destined to fail to reduce costs.  Governmental plans oft go awry, and things always cost far more than estimated.  But we knew all that too, didn’t we.

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