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This may not be news to our regular readers and activists at FreedomWorks, since we all predicted such outcomes if Obamacare were to be implemented. In other words, we didn't need to pass the bill to see what was in it - we knew the whole thing stunk. But as time marches on, we've seen more and more studies indicating that healthcare costs have spiked and access is tightening across the country, and it's directly caused by the passage of Obamacare - even before all aspects have been fully implemented.
This week has seen several such reports. In fact, this has been a week chock full of remarkably bad news for this remarkably bad law.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), for instance, came out on Monday with the results from a national survey of business owners, and it ain't pretty:
The National Business Group on Health this morning released their annual survey of employer health insurance policies. The survey found that health insurance costs are expected to rise another 7% next year. In addition, a majority (60%) of firms “plan to increase the percentage of the premium paid by employees in 2013,” while sizable numbers of firms plan to increase in-network deductibles (40%), out-of-network deductibles (33%), and/or out-of-pocket maximums (32%).
Candidate Obama repeatedly promised premiums would go down by $2,500 -- and would go down that amount by this year. Yet while candidate Obama promised that premiums would go DOWN by $2,500, they actually have gone UP by nearly as much -- from $12,680 in 2008 to $15,073 in 2011.
What’s more, even though candidate Obama promised that “you will not have to change plans,” today’s survey found that the number of firms able to keep their pre-Obamacare coverage has decreased yet again. Fully 57% of firms said they had no health plans with “grandfathered” (i.e., pre-Obamacare) status, and only about one-quarter (27%) were able to keep any portion of their coverage from before Obamacare’s passage – just two short years ago.
This goes to reaffirm what was reported at Ricochet in April 2012:
Even the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office before the passage of the law indicated premiums would increase by a significant amount because of its requirements:
Average premiums per policy in the nongroup market in 2016 would be roughly $5,800 for single policies and $15,200 for family policies under the proposal, compared with roughly $5,500 for single policies and $13,100 for family policies under current law. The weighted average of the differences in those amounts equals the change of 10 percent to 13 percent in the average premium per person.
And this is consistent with the continued projections we’re seeing from across the country. These have since been supplemented by reports at the state level about expectations of premium increases relative to what would have happened if Obamacare didn’t exist, such as in Indiana , where “The estimated ACA-driven premium rate change for the Indiana individual insured market beginning in 2014 is 75% to 95%.” And also Ohio , where premium rates in the individual market are expected to rise between 55% and 85% thanks to the law.
We also have the estimates of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, who sees increases in premiums (as opposed to the decreases he anticipated just a few years ago). In Wisconsin , he anticipates a premium increases of 30 percent by 2016 in the individual markes; in Minnesota , he claims the individual market will see increases in premiums by 29 percent. And in Colorado , he expects premiums will rise by 19 percent relative to what they would’ve been without Obamacare.
And this isn’t just about mandates on insurers – it’s also about the acceleration of health care spending. When you subsidize something, you’re going to get more of it. According to Health Affairs’ comprehensive look at national health spending projections through 2020 , we’re due to see a 10.7 percent increase in prescription drug spending in 2014, an 8.9 percent increase in physician and clinical services in 2014, and a 7.2 percent increase in hospital spending in 2014 – all higher than the spending anticipated without Obama’s law. And guess who’s paying for this new spending? The insurers. What do you expect to happen to premiums, exactly?
Of course, even if you agree that the United States should be forced to pay for healthcare for all citizens - the eternal refrain from the Left that thinks it's immoral that we spend so much on defense instead of domestic programs - the other defense of Obamacare also falls apart like a house of cards: namely, that it will reduce the deficit.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Betsy McCaughey eviscerates that line of reasoning:
Defenders of President Obama's health care law are flaunting a Congressional Budget Office claim that overturning the law would worsen the federal deficit. Repeal, said a CBO report late last month, would cancel $890 billion in new entitlement spending but eliminate revenues of even greater magnitude.
Don't be bamboozled. Even if it were true that ObamaCare raises more money than it spends, that would hardly be reason to keep it, or any law.
ObamaCare creates two costly giveaways—an expansion of Medicaid and new subsidies for people purchasing private insurance. It "pays" for both new entitlements by hiking taxes and penalties, and by raiding funds previously designated for Medicare.
The half-trillion dollars in tax hikes and half-trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare funding together total more than the cost of the new entitlements during the next 10 years, according to the CBO, and produce a small $109 billion surplus. Repealing ObamaCare would erase that tiny surplus.
So what? Repeal also would reduce government spending, lower taxes, and undo the evisceration of Medicare: all good results.
And yes, access to affordable care is already being reduced as a direct result of Obamacare. Sally Pipes noted in Forbes this week,
The law requires states to offer Medicaid to everyone making less than 138 percent of the poverty line — just over $30,000 for a family of four. In exchange, the federal government covers the cost of the expansion for the first three years — and 90 percent thereafter.
Sounds like a great deal for the states. But the administrative expenses involved in expanding the program will increase Medicaid costs for most states — even during the period when the government foots the bill, according to a new survey conducted by the Government Accountability Office.
Further, the federal “gifts” are only for the “newly eligible.” States would still have to pay for their share of the cost of coverage for those who were eligible for Medicaid before the passage of Obamacare but hadn’t enrolled. An estimated 14 million people fall into this category.
Thanks to the individual mandate, many of these previously eligible people will come “out of the woodwork” to sign up for Medicaid and comply with the law. That would add billions of dollars to already strained state budgets.
Indeed, she goes on to note that the mere fact that many states are opting out of these free federal "gifts" is already causing the cost analysis of the law to change, and it will ironically impact LOW INCOME patients the most:
Some of the folks that would have been eligible for Medicaid will seek coverage in the exchanges — where it’s 50 percent more expensive than under Medicaid. As a result, federal spending on subsidies for the exchanges will rise by $215 billion.
But only a third of those eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare’s intended expansion of the program will qualify for subsidies on the exchanges. The remaining two-thirds have incomes that are too low, according to the law.
That puts the Obama Administration in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing health coverage for the middle class — while leaving those with lower incomes to fend for themselves.
All told, the Supreme Court decision makes Obamacare $84 billion cheaper — a paltry 7 percent of the law’s total cost. Six million fewer people will be enrolled in Medicaid, and three million more will hit the exchanges. The three million remaining will be added to the uninsured rolls.
As if that weren't enough, this week's CBO analysis also gave an estimate of how many Americans will remain uninsured after full implementation of the law: 30 Million. Now, to be fair, the CBO states rather unreliably that the current number of uninsured is 53 million. This number is specious in large part because it includes illegal aliens - and after all, there are nearly as many estimates of the illegal alien population in America as there are Americans. The estimates range from 7 million to over 20 million, and possibly even more. However, the final estimate of those uninsured within 8 years of full implementation remains unaffected:
The CBO estimates that in 2022--8 years after the Affordable Care Act has been fully implemented--30 million people will remain uninsured.
Moreover, under Obamacare, 8 percent of legal U.S. residents will remain without health insurance in 2022, according to CBO.
In summary, it is clear that Obamacare fails to keep any single promise upon which it was forced and sold to the American public. No deficit reduction. No reduction in costs. No reduction in premiums. And you can't keep your doctor or your plan.
It has never been more clear that this abomination of a bill must be repealed. How do we get there? By implementing the Five Point Plan outlined by FreedomWorks:
1. Stop the healthcare exchanges in as many states as possible;
2. Stop the Medicaid expansion in as many states as possible;
3. Take a conservative majority in the Senate;
4. Keep or increase the conservative majority in the House;
5. Take the White House.
Another excellent analysis of how to repeal the law was done at CATO, which said, "A critical mass of states could literally force Congress to repeal the Obama health law."
We know what we need to do. We know how to get it done.