ObamaCare bends the cost curve … upward

posted at 3:05 pm on September 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when Barack Obama promised that his health-care overhaul would “bend the cost curve downward” and arrest rapid increases in costs?  The Wall Street Journal has an advance look at a report from the federal government that shows no slowing in costs to the government as a result of the ObamaCare bill.  In fact, the analysis will show that the bill’s passage actually results in an increase in outlays over what had been projected for the next decade:

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. …

Regardless of the health law, national health spending has been rising in recent years and economists expect that to continue. 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 overall net impact is moderate,” said lead author Andrea Sisko, an economist at the Medicare agency. “The underlying impacts on coverage and financing are more pronounced.”

Here is the chart of the day:

The Journal reported earlier this week that insurers have already begun raising premiums in response to the front-loading of ObamaCare benefit mandates by the White House.  That report sent Democrats into fits of anger, threatening to “ratchet up pressure” on insurers.  Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) blamed “greed” for price increases instead of the higher costs imposed by the mandates — a completely predictable consequence of adding more mandates to insurance coverage.

Perhaps these same Democrats can put pressure on themselves to explain once again how the higher costs in ObamaCare meets their promise of bending the cost curve downward.  Not only does the cost curve literally go upward more under ObamaCare for overall spending as percentage of GDP in comparison to the pre-ObamaCare trajectory, it consistently pushes it upward for private insurance, and especially Medicaid.  It only bends downward for Medicare and slightly downward for out-of-pocket costs for consumers.

Medicare’s trajectory does look slightly better under ObamaCare, but there’s a reason for that.  The slowdown comes from lower reimbursement rates for Medicare services, which means it comes out of the pockets of doctors.  The result will be fewer participating providers in Medicare, which will mean longer wait times, more difficulty in getting treatments, and most likely higher out-of-pocket payments as those consumers pay retail for their medical care more often.

ObamaCare fails to deliver on its promise in yet another way, and this is only the beginning.


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REPEAL!

parteagirl on September 9, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Joe Wilson is vindicated. Liar in chief American taxpayer hardest hit.

Monica on September 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

More proof of the lies, damn lies, and bribes that got this crap sandwich passed.

REPEAL IT NOW!!

Phil-351 on September 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

I can’t believe there will be any democrats elected, except in the inner cities, this election.
Any educated person has to know that Obama is the mother of all disasters…

right2bright on September 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Obama is incapable of telling the truth. Nothing new here. What will be news is if he ever tells the truth.

volsense on September 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

I sure as heck don’t need a graph to state the obvious.

Badger40 on September 9, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Repeal this trash.

Weight of Glory on September 9, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Captain Renault Award® of the day.

MassVictim on September 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Its page right out of the AGW playbook…

“Hide the decline”

BobMbx on September 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

The only way to bend the curve downward is to withhold care.

Obama lied, people died.

azkenreid on September 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

“Because doctors would rather amputate your foot for $30,000, $40,000, $50,000.”

Akzed on September 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

OBAMA spoke…lies spewed forth from his mouth/teleprompter

ELMO Q on September 9, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Nostradamus, the Mayans, Carnac the Magnificent, hell, even The Amazing Criswell were more accurate in their ‘predictions’ than this administration.

catmman on September 9, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Can incompetence and stupidity be considered a “high crime”?

azkenreid on September 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Unexpected I am sure … So what are the real numbers? Probably have to wait until 2013 for that data …

Say you weren’t that stupid to buy the lies?

tarpon on September 9, 2010 at 3:19 PM

there has to be a “death panel adjustment” or something for the curve…cuz, once those death panels kick in….that’s when we’re really going to be saving money. We’ll need three things, backhoes, pineboxes and morticians…..

we’ll just be swimming in savings…./

ted c on September 9, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Gosh, just like Medicare and Medicaid did. You’d think there was an economic principle at work or something.

DrMagnolias on September 9, 2010 at 3:23 PM

How much ‘waste and fraud’ have the already cut?

Monica on September 9, 2010 at 3:26 PM

a report from the federal government that shows no slowing in costs to the government as a result of the ObamaCare bill.

As Gomer would have said, “Suprise, surprise, surprise!”.

As for medicare costs going down..yeah, only if Congress suddenly grows a set and enforces the cuts they mandated back in 1995 and have put off every year since.

GarandFan on September 9, 2010 at 3:31 PM

And that “rosy” picture, like the Clinton “surpluss,” depends on a number of ridiculous assumptions.

Ronnie on September 9, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Reason.TV: The Road to CanadaCare? Sally Pipes on The Truth About ObamaCare

“The Republicans would have to take the WH in ’12 and Congress, and then early in ’13, they would have to work very hard on Repeal and Replace, but it also means having a strong leader who can sort of herd all these cats so that they focus on Repeal and Replace. [...] But if they don’t…”

Rae on September 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Time to run that video of Nancy marching across the plaza gavel in hand, proudly passing this abortion.

redshirt on September 9, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Hmmmm, the largest segment of our population, Baby Boomers, starts aging and lo and behold, health care costs rise. Who’d a thunk it?

Now, the question of the day is this: If we hadn’t started letting them kill their babies in the womb, would they still be the largest segment of the population? If not, how would that affect health care costs?

Kafir on September 9, 2010 at 3:43 PM

What is so stunning to me is the ease with which Odumbo lies. I don’t know how any responsible, moral, or ethical human being can sleep at night or for that matter live with themself after the lies.

rjoco1 on September 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM

And this assumes there will be no fraud.

There is $60Billion in Medicare fraud per year now.

Stick around!

Wander on September 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Can incompetence and stupidity be considered a “high crime”?

azkenreid on September 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Perhaps, but that’s not what’s going on here. Obama has proven highly competent at crashing the system and is proceeding as planned. He knows that he cannot build a new socialist Utopian economy on the standing timbers of the existing capitalist system. It must be razed to the ground so that nothing is left but rubble. Then his ideas will be offered as our salvation. The “stupid” part is where he thinks we will be emotionally broken enough to stand for it.

Extrafishy on September 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Graphs getting to look more like a middle finger to America.

chickasaw42 on September 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM

And this assumes there will be no fraud.

There is $60Billion in Medicare fraud per year now.

Stick around!

Wander on September 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Too late. Obama already included finding the fraud and applied the funds towards paying for the plan.

barnone on September 9, 2010 at 3:52 PM

repeal is not really in the cards…not yet. R’s are going to be in a very strong headwind if they take back the house or senate.

O and the state run media will assail every move and word of every Republican.

please remember, this is their dream boat…yes, it will produce the long awaited single payer.

yes, it will produce rationing…and be expensive..although by cutting treatments to old people they will save money

the belief in equality of outcome requires some people to be sacrificed…mainly the old and disabled.

what R is going to say on the sunday shows that O and the left don’t mind if old people die….the mfm have already prepped the battlefield with Palin.

we would have to have a seachange in the countries attitude toward the sob stories and inequality of outcome

r keller on September 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

That chart has to be false. We were promised lower rates. sounds like more Republican tom foolery with the bean counters to me.

Koa on September 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Extrafishy on September 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Hanlon’s Razor

azkenreid on September 9, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I don’t know about percent of GDP, but out of pocket expenses are going to hit employees where it hurts. Two of my customers are small business chemical manufacturers with 100% coverage for their employees which may have to end soon due the extreme rise in premiums.

Kermit on September 9, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Koa on September 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

===========================================================
You left out your S/.I didn’t get a “Harrumph” out of you.

docflash on September 9, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Remember when Barack Obama promised that his health-care overhaul would “bend the cost curve downward” and arrest rapid increases in costs?

It would have been an unexpected and unprecedented result of government intervention.

ObamaCare bends the cost curve … upward

The result of increased costs arising from increased government intervention is unexpectedly and unprecedentedly consistent with the precedent of expecting increased costs arising from increased government intervention.

How could anyone have known?

rukiddingme on September 9, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Can incompetence and stupidity be considered a “high crime”?

azkenreid on September 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM
Perhaps, but that’s not what’s going on here. Obama has proven highly competent at crashing the system and is proceeding as planned. He knows that he cannot build a new socialist Utopian economy on the standing timbers of the existing capitalist system. It must be razed to the ground so that nothing is left but rubble. Then his ideas will be offered as our salvation. The “stupid” part is where he thinks we will be emotionally broken enough to stand for it.

Extrafishy on September 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM

You are describing the Cloward-Piven Strategy. Which was inspired by Alinsky. It fits.

iurockhead on September 9, 2010 at 4:15 PM

I am interested in the replace part of repeal and replace.

I mean can Congress just defund it, then replace it, with sensible solutions?

Because the whole repeal thing isn’t going to work until Obama is gone. Unless you can get 20 Democrat Senators to go along to override a veto we might not be able to do anything but wait until then.

That is depressing because this is a serious issue.

petunia on September 9, 2010 at 4:17 PM

You left out your S/.I didn’t get a “Harrumph” out of you.

docflash on September 9, 2010 at 4:08 PM

/s
Harrumph!!!

Koa on September 9, 2010 at 4:18 PM

And again…WHO is surprised by this?!?

Ltlgeneral64 on September 9, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Breaking:

According to a report from the Inspector General for Tax Administration, released to the public Thursday, about 950,000 of the nearly 1.8 million Americans who claimed the tax credit on their 2009 tax returns will have to return the money.

Click here

Oil Can on September 9, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Next you’ll tell me is that this link wasn’t right on. (Too bad it was only done about 9 months ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RON09jbubM

Dave_d on September 9, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Obama and his fellow Democrats have reversed the trend to longer life in the US. Such a dramatic change in longevity will possibly garner a Nobel Prize in Humanities.

Yoop on September 9, 2010 at 4:35 PM

I am completely serious. I cannot stand the “Obama” label in any way, shape, or form. I am sick and tired of the female “tier” of supposed, induvidualisam, that does not exit at all. I am sick of the male reactonism to anyting close to a”hard-on” when they see some “chick” with boobs, and never ask themselves if they are real, kissing other females for show, does not matter. We’ve gotten to the point that, just showing off, in the most demeaning manner, comes off as “wewll, the guys love it”. What?
,

betsyz on September 9, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Maybe, instead of calling Insurance, Oil, Baseball, Auto or other executives to testify under oath, they can call thier fellow Senators and Congressman to testify under oath, where they got the numbers from and if they actually believed it would cut costs.

Holding Breath, 1, 2, 3….

barnone on September 9, 2010 at 5:03 PM

With the exception of monopoly busting, government intervention in any market, results in higher costs.

Slowburn on September 9, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Maybe, instead of calling Insurance, Oil, Baseball, Auto or other executives to testify under oath, they can call thier fellow Senators and Congressman to testify under oath, where they got the numbers from and if they actually believed it would cut costs.

Holding Breath, 1, 2, 3….

barnone on September 9, 2010 at 5:03 PM

The leftists would lie under oath, unless you had the proof to the contrary, and they believed that you were going to throw their donkey in jail for perjury.

Slowburn on September 9, 2010 at 5:41 PM