"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Another Day, Another Broken Promise On Obamacare: AP – “Costs Going Up, Not Down”

September 9th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

Apparently one broken promise on health care deserves another. Following yesterday’s reports that health insurers are planning on raising premiums in response to the mandates in Democrats’ health care law, despite Democrat promises premiums would be lowered, today reports are that health care costs will still rise, despite Democrat assurances that it would lower costs.

The AP puts it bluntly: “The nation’s health care tab will go up — not down — as a result of President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul.” The Wall Street Journal reports, “The health-care overhaul enacted last spring won’t significantly change national health spending over the next decade compared with projections before the law was passed, according to government figures set to be released Thursday. The report by federal number-crunchers casts fresh doubt on Democrats’ argument that the health-care law would curb the sharp increase in costs over the long term, the second setback this week for one of the party’s biggest legislative achievements.” And once again, this is a study from an agency within the Obama administration’s own Health and Human Services Department. “In February, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projected that overall national health spending would increase an average of 6.1% a year over the next decade. The center’s economists recalculated the numbers in light of the health bill and now project that the increase will average 6.3% a year, according to a report in the journal Health Affairs. Total U.S. health spending will reach $4.6 trillion by 2019, accounting for nearly one of every five U.S. dollars spent, the report says.” The Los Angeles Times adds, “Before passage of the law, the United States was projected to spend $4.5 trillion on healthcare in 2019, up from about $2.6 trillion this year. The overhaul is expected to push up the nation’s 2019 healthcare bill to $4.6 trillion. That translates to an average annual growth rate of 6.3% over the next decade, far outpacing the economy-wide inflation rate.”

Of course, this is not what Democrats promised during the debate over their bloated, unpopular health care bill. In fact, a year ago today President Obama gave an address to a Joint Session of Congress, where he declared, “The plan I’m announcing tonight … will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), who strongly backed the bill, said, “[H]ealth-care reform that is focused on reducing cost is not only the smart way to go; it’s the only way to go.” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said that assertions that the bill would raise costs were “false.” And during the health care summit at the White House in February, Vice President Joe Biden said, “Unless we bend that cost curve, we’re in trouble.”

“In trouble” might be a bit of an understatement at this point. It’s getting difficult to even recall all the different reports and analyses that have shown how the Democrats’ health care bill breaks the promises made about it. Since the bill passed, we’ve learned it won’t bend the cost curve, insurers are being forced to raise premiums, 3 million seniors may be forced to switch their drug coverage, additional solvency for Medicare is largely an “appearance,” it’s “impossible” to estimate the number of new government boards, agencies, & commissions created by the law, it will “devastate” small businesses and “their ability to create jobs,” “many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans,” the bill will cost $115 billion more in extra spending than projected, Medicare Advantage customers will see their benefits cut, more than 1 million part-time, retail, and restaurant workers could lose their coverage, small businesses expecting a tax cut to help pay for health care are facing a “bait-and-switch,” premiums for families on employer health plans will increase, and taxpayers will pay billions of dollars more to finance all of it. And this is just a partial list of the consequences of the health care law.

No wonder majorities of Americans continue to disapprove of this multi-trillion dollar mistake. A recent CNN poll showed 56% still oppose the law. Not only that, Time’s Kat Pickert wrote recently on the Swampland blog that the “emerging conventional wisdom” is that “Democrats grossly underestimated the political damage of pushing through health care reform and that the issue is a primary reason Democrats are set up for big losses come November.” This isn’t the reform Americans were looking for, and for months the public said loud and clear that Congress should stop and start over. But Democrats charged ahead anyway. In less than two months, Americans will get to render their verdict on this course of action.

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