Danger signs in ObamaCare

Not a single one of its major programs has gotten started, and already the wheels are starting to come off of ObamaCare, says Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute. The administration's own chief actuary has reported millions of people could lose their health insurance, health care costs will rise faster than they would have if the law hadn't passed, and the overhaul will mean people will have an increasingly tough time finding physicians to see them.

The White House is trying to spin the April report from Medicare's chief actuary Richard Foster as only half bad because it concludes that although costs will increase, only 23 million people will remain uninsured (instead of 24 million as 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, says Turner.

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 enrol in Medicaid.
  • Half of all seniors on Medicare Advantage could lose their coverage and the extra benefits the plans offer.

    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 from the Joint Economic Committee shows small businesses will be hit hardest.

    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.

    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 jeopardise 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.

    Source: Grace-Marie Turner, Nine Danger Signs in ObamaCare, Heartland Institute, July 2010.

    For text: http://www.heartland.org/healthpolicy-news.org/article/27718/Nine_Danger_Signs_in_ObamaCare.html

    For CMS Actuary report: http://www.heartland.org/healthpolicy-news.org/article/27696/CMS_Actuary_Report_on_Obamacare.html

    For more on Health Issues: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_Category=16

    First published by the National Center for Policy Analysis, United States

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 13 July 2010
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