Surprise! ObamaCare doesn’t lower health-insurance costs

posted at 9:25 am on September 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama promised that his health-care overhaul plan would “bend the cost curve downward” and help Americans get better health care for less money.  How is that promise working out so far?  According to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundationnot well (via The Weekly Standard):

The Kaiser Family Foundation shows family premiums topped $15,000 a year for the first time in 2011, increasing a whopping 9% this year, three times more than the increase the year before. The study says that up to 2% of that increase is because of the health care law’s provisions, such as allowing families to add grown children up to 26 years old to their policies.

So what about that $2,500 in savings the president pledged? White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle insists families will see that savings — by 2019.

“Many of the changes in the Affordable Care Act are starting this year, and in succeeding years,” DeParle told ABC News, “and by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”

DeParle said that the “big increases that occurred last year were probably driven by insurance plans overestimating what the impact would be and maybe trying to take some profits upfront before some of the changes in the Affordable Care Act occur.

Probably? Maybe?  If you get the impression that no one at the White House knows what’s going on, well, you’re right.  That was clear enough when the bill got introduced in the summer of 2009 and then extensively debated that the Obama administration had confused costs with prices.  The entire bill consists of attempts at price control while ignoring the real causes of rising prices, which are innovation (better care) and a lack of price signals to consumers through the third-party-payer model — a model that ObamaCare amplified rather than reformed.

Instead of lowering costs, insurance premiums increased at triple the rate from the previous year.  Why?  Thanks to new federal mandates, actual costs will increase for insurers, who now cannot offer lower-coverage and lower-cost plans to people who don’t need so-called Cadillac plans for their current situations.  Adding mandates increases costs, especially the mandates to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions and “community pricing” that requires everyone else to pay more to cover that risk.  Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about risk-pool behavior — or just plain common sense — could see that outcome two years ago.

Employers are now shifting more of the increased costs to employees, too:

The Kaiser study also indicates employers are switching plans and shifting costs onto employees. Half of workers in smaller firms now face “deductibles of at least $1,000, including 28 percent facing deductibles of $2,000 or more,” according to the study.

That’s actually not a bad way to get pricing signals to the consumer, although it should be done in conjunction with HSAs and hospitalization-only coverage.  Unfortunately, ObamaCare obliterates the tandem of HSAs and catastrophic-only coverage, which would put consumers in charge of cost control and lower premiums to a reasonable enough level that employers could get out of the loop.  Small businesses have to do this in order to survive, and it won’t be long before larger firms do the same.

For the past two years, ObamaCare critics have repeatedly predicted this outcome.  If the White House now can only provide guesswork as to why premiums are escalating faster than ever, it proves their incompetence at being the architects of a national controlled economy, and the folly of that venture at all.

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9% ? I blame Europe. / And Bush. //

Paul-Cincy on September 30, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Health Insurance will not help this. Severed arm found at Wall Street protests (warning picture is not for the faint at heart)

http://themorningspew.com/2011/09/30/severed-arm-found-at-wall-street-protests-warning-graphic/

bloggless on September 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

“I didn’t mean it would lower YOUR health care costs!”–Obama

Vntnrse on September 30, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Really love that picture of the Tool with the pony tail and lab coat…

BigWyo on September 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Was it really intended to “bend the cost curve downward?”

flyfisher on September 30, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Well I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you….

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Totally unexpected! /sarc

gwelf on September 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Really love that picture of the Tool with the pony tail and lab coat…

BigWyo on September 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Every time that I see that pic I want to reach out a slap the dunce.

darwin-t on September 30, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Darn those smugly applauding doctors again!!

Chuckles3 on September 30, 2011 at 9:35 AM

If you get the impression that no one at the White House knows what’s going on, well, you’re right

About anything.

rbj on September 30, 2011 at 9:36 AM

So aside from being able to keep your doctor, death panels, rising health care costs, cuts to Medicare, onerous regulations and requirements placed on employers and violating everyone’s civil liberties ObamaCare is just as advertised!

gwelf on September 30, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Every time that I see that pic I want to reach out a slap the dunce.

darwin-t on September 30, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Replace ‘slap’ with ‘choke’ and I’m in…

BigWyo on September 30, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The deuce you say! Actually ObamaCare is a steaming pile of deuce, so….yeah.

Bishop on September 30, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Even Kaiser Family Foundation can’t help you anymore Obamacare.

Remember the good old days with the Kaiser polling based on +14% Democrat samples and issue-by-issue questions that asked about O-care benefits but didn’t mention any cost or consequences? Well, it’s all gone now, baby.

forest on September 30, 2011 at 9:39 AM

If Obama knew the Kaiser Family Foundation would produce a report like this, Solyndra never would have received the $500M.

WashJeff on September 30, 2011 at 9:40 AM

But….But….But….I still get to keep my doctor if I want to—right?

dirtseller on September 30, 2011 at 9:40 AM

The insurance companies love it!

rebuzz on September 30, 2011 at 9:41 AM

If the cost per person has increased 9%, consider also the percentage increase in those whose medical costs are paid for by the government. The baby boomers retiring, the numbers of the indigent (along with illegal immigrants) increasing (assuming it’s similar to food stamp rates which has increased to 1 in 7 now), not to mention normal population growth of 0.85% a year. So wouldn’t the health care burden on govt be rising significantly more than 9% a year?

Paul-Cincy on September 30, 2011 at 9:41 AM

bloggless on September 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Compare and contrast.

The two professionals on the right just trying to get to work and make a living.

The herd of scraggly douchebags on the left banging drums. Look at the fool in the baseball cap, he’s got a plastic 5 gallon bucket as a drum…dude doesn’t have $20 for a cheap bongo?

Bishop on September 30, 2011 at 9:41 AM

So aside from being able to keep your doctor, death panels, rising health care costs, cuts to Medicare, onerous regulations and requirements placed on employers and violating everyone’s civil liberties ObamaCare is just as advertised!

gwelf on September 30, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Did you forget to read the law before you passed it?

dirtseller on September 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Really love that picture of the Tool with the pony tail and lab coat…

BigWyo on September 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Looks like he’s checking out Obama’s pant crease from the back.

dirtseller on September 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

But for the Arab Spring and the tsunami, this would not be happening.

Also BOOOOOOOOSH!!!!1!

Greek Fire on September 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

“Fake Scandal!”

/crr6

Del Dolemonte on September 30, 2011 at 9:44 AM

My mother has the part D prescription plan and her monthly premium went up .30. I know it’s only .30, but Zero promised that health care costs would go down not up. What will the premium be next year and the year after?

Kissmygrits on September 30, 2011 at 9:45 AM

But….But….But….I still get to keep my doctor if I want to—right?
dirtseller on September 30, 2011 at 9:40 AM

You sure do, young fella, you get to keep your doctor as promised!

Of course your doctor has been run out of his practice by the federal government and he now works at Home Depot in the flooring department, but hey, you get to keep him.

Bishop on September 30, 2011 at 9:45 AM

you see, if you stand on your head and look at the cost curve graph–it does appear to be bent downward.

directions.

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

It was a given that premiums and deductibles would increase as a result of obamacare. This is just insane…

Blake on September 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

You can keep your doctor…unless your doctor throw up his/her hands in defeat.

SouthernGent on September 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

it doesn’t lower the costs, but can I gets a ‘get outta work free’ pass like the homies did in Madison??

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Oh come on….this is a manipulation by the evil rich people to take away the freebies from the masses.

csdeven on September 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM

There are things we know, thing we know we don’t know, and finally things we don’t know we don’t know. If the problems were in the last category I would cut them some slack but this FUBAR falls in the first category. Obviously they knew it was going to happen and now are trying to put some additional lipstick on a slime mold.

chemman on September 30, 2011 at 9:51 AM

“Many of the changes in the Affordable Care Act are starting this year, and in succeeding years,” DeParle told ABC News, “and by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”

somehow obama forgot to mention it would go up before it goes down. and when do the savings balance out the higher costs??

chasdal on September 30, 2011 at 9:52 AM

SouthernGent on September 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

If the Court doesn’t overturn the mandate then the next government mandate will be that anyone that is a med school graduate must work in the clinical medicine field of the governments choice.

chemman on September 30, 2011 at 9:53 AM

So….. I pay 9% increases for the next eight years in order to maybe start saving $2,000 by 2019? By that math, I should start seeing a savings around 2050, if I’m still alive.

parteagirl on September 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Just wait until 2014, when the requirement for insurers to provide “free” procedures (like colonoscopies and mammograms) kicks in. Colonoscopies require a gastroenterologist, a doctor or nurse qualified to administer anesthesia, the camera/scope, the computer, the ambulatory surgery center (or some other qualified facility in which to perform the procedure), etc.

These kinds of procedures don’t somehow become magically “free” just because the federal government issues a mandate for insurers to cover them, and when millions more people start having these procedures done, it’s going to make insurance premiums go up significantly.

AZCoyote on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Justice Kennedy, are you reading this?

angryed on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

By that math, I should start seeing a savings around 2050, if I’m still alive.
parteagirl on September 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

You won’t be, a death panel will see to that, and the government won’t be out anything.

You have to think in socialist to understand how it all works.

Bishop on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

By that math, I should start seeing a savings around 2050, if I’m still alive.

parteagirl on September 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Death panels will not allow us to see any savings.

darwin-t on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Why does the “doc” in the photo look like Awlaki?

ErinF on September 30, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Just wait until 2014, when the requirement for insurers to provide “free” procedures (like colonoscopies and mammograms)

Mammograms have always been free at my place.

That’s right ladies, free mammograms during the summer, just bring some beer and wear a bikini, I’ll take care of everything else; I run a full-service operation and your satisfaction is guaranteed or your beer back.

*hitches up pants and sniffs*

Bishop on September 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM

“According to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation”

LOL.

Dusty on September 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM

*hitches up pants and sniffs*

Bishop on September 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Every time you post that I picture you as Barney Fife

darwin-t on September 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM

The insurance companies love it!

rebuzz on September 30, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Which is why it’s pretty shocking “non-partisan” Kaiser Family Foundation produced the report. Remember, the Family Foundation is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Seriously, they aren’t affiliated – anymore – or whatever.

forest on September 30, 2011 at 10:11 AM

A feature, not a bug.

CantCureStupid on September 30, 2011 at 10:11 AM

We were called ignorant, heartless racists for pointing out all the flaws in thes “unread” bill.
Are we going to be called informed, heartless racists now that we are being proved correct?

gonnjos on September 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The policies coming from this administration are a slap in the face to every American worker. And it’s not just health care…the price of EVERYTHING you buy costs more than it did 3 years ago. Every. Thing. One week something is $1.09, the next it’s $1.59, then $1.89, etc., etc., etc.

scalleywag on September 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

But…but…but Ed! This administration KNOWS EVERYTHING! Said so themselves. Why just look at the marvelous investment they made for taxpayers in Solyndra.

GarandFan on September 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Just wait until 2014, when the requirement for insurers to provide “free” procedures (like colonoscopies and mammograms) kicks in.

AZCoyote on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Free colonoscopies? Surely you can’t be serious. As long as they’re free … might as well have one. That’s $2,000 I don’t have to pay.

Paul-Cincy on September 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Well as long as Obama, his comrades and those in the House and Senate don’t have to abide by this crap…what does it matter? *SIGH*

capejasmine on September 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I wonder if any insurance companies will start offering deductible insurance? Like Medicare gap stuff.

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Just as predicted.

lorien1973 on September 30, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Are we going to be called informed, heartless racists now that we are being proved correct?

No. The masses can never be smarter than the smartest President Evah! You will be visited by the goons from Attack Watch for even suggesting such thing.

katablog.com on September 30, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Read an article this morning about how NY is considering having its Medicaid program cover the costs for sex-change procedures for Medicaid patients who want to change their gender. A government commission there has already recommended it.

John-Hopkins shut down its sex-change facility, because it decided that the procedures were not effective. A recent study showed that, among people who make the transition to another gender, 50% end up committing suicide afterwards. Yet NY wants to force taxpayers to pay for the enormous (and lifelong, since the person must take the hormones until they die) costs for an optional procedure of very dubious benefit to the patient. Why? Because it’s trendy and feels politically correct to do it? Because there is so much extra money lying around, and they need to spend it on something? It’s just so friggin’ insane the way these government nitwits keep piling on mandatory coverages because it “feels” right . . . .

AZCoyote on September 30, 2011 at 10:47 AM

I’ve already read some liberal blogs being tossed around Facebook about this. Their explanation: it’s because insurance companies are greedy. That’s it. They’re jacking up fees before the glorious Obamacare goes full force in 2014 to maximize profits.

This line of crazy will preserve the argument that once the law is struck down by SCOTUS it would have saved us money if only we’d made it to 2014. Must be nice to know nothing about economics, then you can argue ignore facts right in front of you. Sad thing is, they still won’t learn anything from this and try again in the future.

Meric1837 on September 30, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Surprise! ObamaCare doesn’t lower health-insurance costs

Exactly who is surprised? The wilfully ignorant???

Tax increases, shutdown and/or enslavement of medical providers, shutdown of medical insurance, huge taxes and penalties on those who dare to provide medicine or medical devices, complete elimination of your medical privacy, elimination of your right to choose your own medical treatment, elimination of your access to medical treatments which bureaucrats don’t like, elimination of access to life-saving care at the whim of bureaucrats (the “death panels” DO exist in Obamacare), and subordination of your doctor’s right to make medical decisions to bureaucrats, are just a few of the outrageous medical-related provisions in Obamacare.

There are also hundreds of non-medical-related provisions which Democrats sneaked into law under cover of Obamacare: onerous 1099 filing provisions, empowerment of the IRS to seize bank accounts without any notice or hearing, elimination of financial privacy (including tax return information), and many others.

Obamacare is NOT designed to improve health care for anybody. Obamacare is designed to be a mechanism for socialist takeover of America and destruction of its wealth and freedoms, using medical care as a “false flag” to hide and/or excuse it.

NOTHING IS IMPROVED BY OBAMACARE: IT MUST BE COMPLETELY REPEALED ASAP!!

landlines on September 30, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Which is why it’s pretty shocking “non-partisan” Kaiser Family Foundation produced the report. Remember, the Family Foundation is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Seriously, they aren’t affiliated – anymore – or whatever.

[forest on September 30, 2011 at 10:11 AM]

Not shocking, really. It’s a study, I suppose, in the widest possible meaning of the term, but it’s just a survey of employers. So, collation of data aside, the only “study” aspect is comparing the numbers to data collection of previous years. That’s pretty neutral.

Leaving aside the partisan aspect that Kaiser Family Foundation is heavily invested in the issue of Healthcare, it’s how the data is put to use that defines partisan v non-partisan and with respect to that one would need to look elsewhere for how KFF purposes their neutral collation of data.

Like, um, for example …Here!

This is not shocking, either. It’s standard progressive partisanship which is why I got such a laugh out of Ed’s suggestion KFF is non-partisan.

Dusty on September 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

The left does not need facts.

IlikedAUH2O on September 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

if only someone had warned us and told us how and why what was being promised with obamacare was not possible.

oh wait…

Yakko77 on September 30, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Honestly – at this point, so what?

We need to either decide to a) STFU, stop bleating about it and *do* something about it (yes, you know what that means), or b) simply STFU and continue to bend over.

Enough with the bleating.

Midas on September 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Who knew that mandating lots of free stuff would cost so much?

Why, its almost like the people who drafted this thing didn’t even have a connection to the real world when they did it and existed in some fairy land full of unicorns delivering free natural gas and health care.

ajacksonian on September 30, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Justice Kennedy, are you reading this?

angryed on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Mark Levin was SPOT ON yesterday, talking about Justice Kennedy…

And… I can’t believe Speaker Pelosi lied to me about this… I’m shocked! Shocked!

Khun Joe on September 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM

“Many of the changes in the Affordable Care Act are starting this year, and in succeeding years,” DeParle told ABC News, “and by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”

What an idiot.

How much more extra will that family pay for premiums before then?

Epic.
Fail.
Prediction.

Does anyone else here think that Obama’s crew in the White House are sitting around in the Oval Office doing ‘shrooms while coming up with this kind of crap for analysis or policy ideas?

They need to smoke more weed. Maybe then they’d calm down & just look for tacos rather than create more crazy regulatory EOs/laws…..

Danny on September 30, 2011 at 11:51 AM

a totalitarian/ socialist take over of american democracy is best left to the individual states according to willard romney.

mittens on September 30, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Rush is on this, atm.

pambi on September 30, 2011 at 1:22 PM

EPIC FAIL

J_Crater on September 30, 2011 at 2:12 PM