Obama: My policies are totally the cause behind the slowdown in health care costs

posted at 7:21 pm on September 19, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

And in a way, he’s pretty much right — just not in the way he thinks he is (or, rather, not in the way that he’s presenting himself to be, ahem).

I’ve covered this particular misrepresentation before, but since the president has been repeating it a lot lately and will probably continue to do so with a vengeance from here on out, I might as well take another crack at it. Via ABC:

But today President Obama made one of his boldest claims yet on that question: asserting that the Affordable Care Act, in just three years, has helped slow the growth of health costs to the lowest rates in decades.

“Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare,’ the cost of health care is now growing at the slowest rate in 50 years,” Obama said in remarks to his Export Council.

“Just yesterday CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] estimated that health care spending grew at it second-slowest rate ever in 2012, will grow at its third-slowest rate ever in 2013, grew at its slowest rate in 2011,” he said. “So the three years since ‘Obamacare’ passed, we’ve seen the slowest growth in health care costs on record.”

It is perfectly true that, over the past decade, the rate of growth of health care costs has been decreasing; and yes, there are a bunch of factors that go into the makeup of the country’s health care spending that have been improving, namely the efficiencies and technological innovations being spurred along by the private sector. In 2009, however, the rate bottomed out around 4 percent and has stayed there the past several years, but for exactly the reason you’re thinking it did. …It’s the economy, stupid. ABC continues:

But many independent experts believe the slowdown is largely due to the economy and a contraction of spending during the recession.  The role of Affordable Care Act has been limited and hard to measure, they say. …

An April 2013 Kaiser analysis concluded “the vast majority (77 percent) of the recent decline in the health spending trend can be attributed to broader changes in the economy. At the same time, however, there are also indications that structural changes in the health system may be playing a modest role as well.”

Experts note that changes under ACA could ultimately increase the growth rate of health care costs initially, since more people will be covered (and paying for) health plans and treatments.  The continued economic recovery is expected to contribute, as well, as more Americans have increased income to spend on health care.

I would point out to the president that the health care law wasn’t even signed until 2010, and this trend began in 2009; i.e., sure, his failure of an economic agenda has definitely been helping to keep health care costs from ballooning too hugely, but that is not a good thing in its larger context. It is certainly a creative and useful bit of boldfaced spinmeistering for the moment, I suppose, but I’m not sure how the president will be able to credibly claim that an accelerating rate in health care costs somehow will not be attributable to ObamaCare when they pick back up again.

If these are the fake straws at which the administration has to grasp to tell everyone to sell their health care overhaul, they have some serious problems on their hands.


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It’s a different world to live where you can make up your own truth.. and have a whole media empire behind you supporting it.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Goebbels can’t take it any more.

He married the whole world.

Schadenfreude on September 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

My premiums go up every year azzhole.

portlandon on September 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM

So, is he now President Art Vandelay?

Blake on September 19, 2013 at 7:31 PM

I thought it was the Skittles spewing unicorns. Which is more believable.

rbj on September 19, 2013 at 7:32 PM

My premiums are set to rise every single year for the next four years.

Murphy9 on September 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Spread this around

Schadenfreude on September 19, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Roberts, you swine…here you get another chance.

Schadenfreude on September 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM

My individual HMO policy skyrocketed to $700 per month this year. I had to drop is last January. I also plan to “go Galt” on Obamacare next month. I have zero intentions of enrolling in that debacle. I figure I can pay out of pocket for my immediate health care needs. And in the event I am on the way to the hospital for something major, I will have the ambulance stop by the nearest “navigator” and get me some of that “free” Obamacare!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, are any of you aware that the tax credit that is supposed to subsidize the exchange plans is a “loaned” tax credit? In the event that you earn more money that anticipated next year, you have to give back a lot of that tax credit at the end of the year!!!!!!!!!

True fact. Can you imagine how this is going to end up enslaving even more people to the IRS?

karenhasfreedom on September 19, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Got a letter from my employer today which included

If the cost of a plan from your employer that would cover you (and not any other members of your family) is more than 9.5% of your household income for the year, or if the coverage your employer provides does not meet the “minimum value” standard set by the ACA, you may b eligible for a tax credit.

Murphy9 on September 19, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Does he believe his own BS? It doesn’t matter. He says it because that’s all it takes to keep his worshipers nodding their heads in approval.

86 on September 19, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I wonder why he doesn’t attribute the unprecedented Food Stamp rolls to his deft handling of the economy.

Hey, yer number one Barry!!!

BigWyo on September 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM

You know what, Obama? You sniveling piece of worthless space…. My freaking healthcare costs have skyrocketed to the point where I cannot buy enough food some weeks. But I’ll never be on your food stamps that’s for G-D damned sure.

Shove it up your socialist uneducated a$$.

/You a-hole.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 7:50 PM

…I’m not sure how the president will be able to credibly claim that an accelerating rate in health care costs somehow will not be attributable to ObamaCare when they pick back up again.

The Limbaugh Theorem.

slickwillie2001 on September 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Obama: My policies are totally the cause behind the slowdown in health care costs

I believe this administration has taking the art of bold-faced lying to a new level. The truly remarkable thing is, most Americans sat back and not only let it happen, but helped this charlatan and whoever the crooks are he works for attain, and keep, power.

And when America is totally destroyed, they’ll look for a new Obama to fix everything.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I would point out to the president that the health care law wasn’t even signed until 2010, and this trend began in 2009

The effect can obviously start before the cause. Just look at the IRS targeting of the Tea Party groups. An increase in tax exempt applications is what caused the IRS targeting of the Tea Party, even though targeting of the Tea Party groups happened before the increase in applications. Everyone knows that.

besser tot als rot on September 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I saw a kid selling lemonade on the street corner over the summer. That job created was due to Obama’s most excellent economic policies.

beatcanvas on September 19, 2013 at 7:54 PM

I’m not sure how the president will be able to credibly claim that an accelerating rate in health care costs somehow will not be attributable to ObamaCare when they pick back up again.

It’s a different world to live where you can make up your own truth.. and have a whole media empire behind you supporting it.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

I believe JellyToast answered your concern, Erika.

VibrioCocci on September 19, 2013 at 7:55 PM

My individual HMO policy skyrocketed to $700 per month this year. I had to drop is last January. I also plan to “go Galt” on Obamacare next month. I have zero intentions of enrolling in that debacle. I figure I can pay out of pocket for my immediate health care needs. And in the event I am on the way to the hospital for something major, I will have the ambulance stop by the nearest “navigator” and get me some of that “free” Obamacare!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, are any of you aware that the tax credit that is supposed to subsidize the exchange plans is a “loaned” tax credit? In the event that you earn more money that anticipated next year, you have to give back a lot of that tax credit at the end of the year!!!!!!!!!

True fact. Can you imagine how this is going to end up enslaving even more people to the IRS?

karenhasfreedom on September 19, 2013 at 7:40 PM

I think you’re also fined for that. Penalized in some way beyond just giving it back.

Imagine if nobody enrolled. Hey.. you might as well forget about any future tax refunds anyway. From now on the future will be us owing taxes. Just always owing and owing. Yep.. the future is a government boot with the word “TAX” stomping on our faces for all eternity.
Pure joy. I always used to wonder how great nations fell. Now I see. And it really has less to do with the determination and cleverness of the wicked as much as the apathy and gutlessness of the righteous.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 7:56 PM

And when America is totally destroyed, they’ll look for a new Obama to fix everything.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Yeah. Corey Booker.

/That’s what you tawkin about right there.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I would love to be in one of his focus groups looking for talking points to toss out to the Media. Everyone sitting around and finally one person snags a factoid from Google and everyone runs with it making $hit up as they go.

It reminds me of the RoboCop Movie where they had a big focus group on what his programming should be. The movie where he shot a cigarette out of a guys mouth because smoking was bad for you. Eventually he had to go and hook himself up to a high power line to fry his memory out. Maybe that is what Obamas buddies need to do.

Johnnyreb on September 19, 2013 at 7:58 PM

You know what, Obama? You sniveling piece of worthless space…. My freaking healthcare costs have skyrocketed to the point where I cannot buy enough food some weeks. But I’ll never be on your food stamps that’s for G-D damned sure.

Shove it up your socialist uneducated a$$.

/You a-hole.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 7:50 PM

My COBRA doubled in price. It wasn’t because the doctor wanted a raise.

beatcanvas on September 19, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I always used to wonder how great nations fell. Now I see. And it really has less to do with the determination and cleverness of the wicked as much as the apathy and gutlessness of the righteous.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Good to see you, JT.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

The post and Obama address a slowing of the rate of increase in healthcare costs, and the “April 2013 Kaiser analysis” addresses a decrease in the rate of increase in healthcare spending. Healthcare cost and healthcare spending aren’t the same thing. Any decrease in the rate of increase of healthcare spending has a pretty obvious explanation — people without money don’t go to the doctor, and more people are without money. The Kaiser analysis tries to find a permanent change in healthcare cost that would imply that the reduction in the rate of increase in healthcare spending will be permanent, even if the economy recovers. But they are here:

There is no way of knowing for certain whether this slowdown will persist and for how long, though the trend since 2008 has been generally upward. However, the major elements of the ACA – including significant cost savings in Medicare and the creation of new health insurance exchanges – have in general not yet been fully implemented, and could dampen growth in the future.

. . . which means they are nowhere.

It’s a waste of time.

Axe on September 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

My COBRA doubled in price. It wasn’t because the doctor wanted a raise.

beatcanvas on September 19, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I’m going rogue with my PCP – fixed pricing and PRN visits.

If I’m ever seriously injured or seriously killed? I’ll send my bill to ObamaCare.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:01 PM

One big fat lie after another. It never ends for Dems.

Here’s a whopper from Bob Beckel on The Five today:

“President Obama met with the Republicans hundreds of times on Obamacare before it was passed”

Say what?

fogw on September 19, 2013 at 8:02 PM

The Kaiser analysis tries to find a permanent change in healthcare cost that would imply that the reduction in the rate of increase in healthcare spending will be permanent, even if the economy recovers.

Medicaid. Foodstamps. ObamaPhones.

The only way to enact change, is in attitudes – meaning, those with the entitlement mentality that take an ambulance to the emergency room for a bad case of the sniffles need to be reined in and penalized somehow.

Good luck with that in the era of Hopenchange.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM

karenhasfreedom on September 19, 2013 at 7:40 PM

And I’m not enrolling either. Not going to speak for anyone else in I know but I’m telling you I have spoken to many. (I guess I just alerted the NSA)
They could storm my house and physically hold my hand to sign some form I guess.. but I will not go to the doctor unless they take me by ambulance and I’m unconscious.

I’m already known to be uncooperative as a patient. So it’s good to have my own private nurse. ( I married one )

I should get a button made up or some ribbon “Not Going to Enroll!” Period!”

Imagine if they threw a socialized healthcare takeover plan and none showed up.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Here’s a whopper from Bob Beckel on The Five today:

“President Obama met with the Republicans hundreds of times on Obamacare before it was passed”

Say what?

fogw on September 19, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Beckel may have some inside information. After all, we no longer have a two party system.. The GOP is the DNC and the DNC is the GOP.

This is why the Establishment(tm) is terrified of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:07 PM

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/19/us-healthcare-exchanges-homedepot-idUSBRE98I13120130919

Reuters working hard for the White House and it’s message.

Home Depot to tap health insurance exchanges for part-timers.

Home Depot Inc is shifting medical coverage for part-time workers to new public marketplace exchanges ahead of new benefits requirements under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, a spokesman said on Thursday.

The world’s largest home improvement retail chain announced its move shortly after a similar announcement from Trader Joe’s Co, a popular privately held grocery chain.

Home Depot’s change would affect roughly 20,000 part-time workers who previously had chosen the limited liability medical plan the company offered, spokesman Stephen Holmes said.

After December 31, companies can no longer offer those plans under the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“We’re going to shift them over to the public exchanges, where there are more options,” Holmes said.

The public exchanges being set up under ACA will allow individuals to buy government-subsidized healthcare based on income. Enrollment begins on October 1.

Until now, many restaurants and retailers offered workers limited liability plans that often provided less than $5,000 in coverage. Experts have said exchanges would provide more comprehensive coverage that may not cost more because government tax credits will help some workers offset premiums.

Some employers are opting to offer coverage through private health insurance changes.

Walgreen Co, the largest U.S. drugstore, and more than a dozen other large employers have said they would offer their employee insurance for 2014 through the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange.

Home Depot employs about 340,000 people and will continue to offer healthcare benefits to full-time employees, who will be paying more for that coverage next year due to higher healthcare costs, Holmes said.


Remember when they DOTUS (Destroyer of the United States) said you could keep your doctor? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

PappyD61 on September 19, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Here’s a whopper from Bob Beckel on The Five today:

“President Obama met with the Republicans hundreds of times on Obamacare before it was passed”

Say what?

fogw on September 19, 2013 at 8:02 PM

And here is more food for thought… what if the GOP and the Dems were both on board with the IRS action against the Tea Party?

/Oh, that could never, ever be. Never.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Home Depot to tap health insurance exchanges for part-timers.

Home Depot Inc is shifting medical coverage for part-time workers to new public marketplace exchanges ahead of new benefits requirements under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Bbbbut.. what if your State hasn’t set up an exchange? Then where will these people go?

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Good to see you, JT.

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Good to see you.

You know I had an old friend, an intern I had years back… she had lived in the Florida Keys for some time. She told me there was such a thing as Island Sickness. I had never heard of it before but she said it was common on islands. People who had not grown up on the islands (she was referring specifically to the Keys) at some point “had to get off.” They just couldn’t take being on an island anymore. It was like a nervous breakdown and they called it Island Sickness.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I think you’re also fined for that. Penalized in some way beyond just giving it back.

Imagine if nobody enrolled. Hey.. you might as well forget about any future tax refunds anyway. From now on the future will be us owing taxes. Just always owing and owing. Yep.. the future is a government boot with the word “TAX” stomping on our faces for all eternity.
Pure joy. I always used to wonder how great nations fell. Now I see. And it really has less to do with the determination and cleverness of the wicked as much as the apathy and gutlessness of the righteous.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 7:56 PM

All true. But this stuff isn’t happening in a vacuum, and it’s not just Dear Leader and his party. The insurance companies wanted to get into the pockets of those millions of twenty-somethings and others who had no health insurance, and major corporations want to expand their profits by getting their employees off of their own health care plans. They may still contribute most or all of the cost now, but down the line they won’t…either their contributions won’t keep pace with rising costs, or they’ll simply reduce their contributions.

I’m all for increased profitability, but there reaches a point where we’re talking about virtual slavery.

You know these ba$tard$ are also eying our 401K and pension plans don’t you? And our bank accounts? And the idea of going cashless so they can tax every single transaction in this country? And charging us for every mile we drive?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I’m not sure how the president will be able to credibly claim that an accelerating rate in health care costs somehow will not be attributable to ObamaCare when they pick back up again.

Barry knows he doesn’t have to worry about getting blamed for that, because he knows that the economy is going to continue to suck for the next 3-1/2 years.

After that, he’ll be golfing and playing spades with “body man” Reggie Love in his $50 million Hawaiian resort, with taxpayers still footing the bill for his gold-plated medical care, so he won’t give a damn.

AZCoyote on September 19, 2013 at 8:17 PM

You know these ba$tard$ are also eying our 401K and pension plans don’t you? And our bank accounts? And the idea of going cashless so they can tax every single transaction in this country? And charging us for every mile we drive?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Oh yeah. They want those 401K’s! I say it’s a 50/50 chance Obama will go for them before the end of this term. 100% chance he’ll do it during his 3rd term.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM

‘Toons of the Day: Hey, Barry, Can I Get One Of Those New-Fangled AR-15 Shotguns About Which Piers Morgan, CNN, and MSNBC Were Agog? Exceptional!

Resist We Much on September 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM

It’s a different world to live where you can make up your own truth.. and have a whole media empire behind you supporting it.
JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Right.
It doesn’t matter how truthful your statements are if the court eunuchs in the media protect you.

gwelf on September 19, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Let. It. Burn.

There is no one in the Federal, State, or Local Government that represents me, my interests, or my views.

Yet they still take MY money, and use it to spy on me, harass people that think like me, and generally piss it away on the FSA….

But, they tell the best lies…..

wytshus on September 19, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Oh yeah. They want those 401K’s! I say it’s a 50/50 chance Obama will go for them before the end of this term. 100% chance he’ll do it during his 3rd term.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM

That third term stuff scares the hell out of me. When I think about it, I want to slap myself for being irrational…then I think about how they were testing the waters about a third term for Clintoon when Bush was President.

I think it maybe only a 5% or less chance at this point, but I know they’re thinking about it.

Either that or they have another Manchurian Candidate out there we haven’t heard of yet. Could Obummer be the only one?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 19, 2013 at 8:38 PM

‘Toons of the Day: Hey, Barry, Can I Get One Of Those New-Fangled AR-15 Shotguns About Which Piers Morgan, CNN, and MSNBC Were Agog? Exceptional!

Resist We Much on September 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM

You forgot to link it, gurl. :)

Axe on September 19, 2013 at 8:42 PM

The unaffordable healthcare act

J_Crater on September 19, 2013 at 8:45 PM

My premiums went down to zero. No coverage.

And I’m not signing sh!t. Including a tax return.

You can shove your exchanges and fines straight up your azz.

I don’t care what Congress does. I’ll fight this one my way.

wolly4321 on September 19, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 19, 2013 at 8:38 PM

I joke about a third term… and I know they would do it if they could.. but I don’t see it. Now.. if there is a national emergency or massive terrorist attack or all out war, all bets are off.

I think by the time 2016 elections get here.. nobody is going to want to be connected to this guy. Nobody.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 8:51 PM

People who had not grown up on the islands (she was referring specifically to the Keys) at some point “had to get off.” They just couldn’t take being on an island anymore. It was like a nervous breakdown and they called it Island Sickness.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

LOL~! I’m in Tampa Bay. “Key West Reader” is actually a book.

It’s kinda cool.. check it out sometime!

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I really think this guy is insane and those around him know it and are afraid to do anything about it. They think they can control the megalomaniac.
He is just plain nut-so if he believe even half of what he is saying.

Delsa on September 19, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Key West Reader on September 19, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I’m always the last to know.

JellyToast on September 19, 2013 at 10:36 PM

As a small business owner who has provided health insurance to his employees, their families and his own family for the last nine years, I find labeling Obama, SCOAMF, to be totally appropriate,

deepdiver on September 19, 2013 at 10:53 PM

“But BUSH is responsible for all the drug shortages”

O’bozo

WryTrvllr on September 19, 2013 at 11:42 PM

The fact that I didn’t buy a Cadillac this year because I lost my job and have no money, doesn’t mean they cost any less. Spending doesn’t equate to costs unless they’re normalized. Costs can also come down because people have no money so vendors cut margins. It’s never as simple as the President of Nonsense suggests and isn’t it interesting that every nuance is resolved in favor of His Highness being Amazing.

IndieDogg on September 20, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Wreck the economy, then take credit for lowering inflation.

Are we sure President Biden could actually be worse?

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 20, 2013 at 1:04 AM

Health care costs are lower because unemployed folks can’t afford to go the the doctor’s office.

Pure Genius!

shorebird on September 20, 2013 at 1:56 AM

Keep repeating a lie long enough and often enough….democrats wouldn’t know what truth is even if it bit them in their backside.

crosshugger on September 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

By the way, are any of you aware that the tax credit that is supposed to subsidize the exchange plans is a “loaned” tax credit? In the event that you earn more money that anticipated next year, you have to give back a lot of that tax credit at the end of the year!!!!!!!!!

True fact. Can you imagine how this is going to end up enslaving even more people to the IRS?

karenhasfreedom on September 19, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Thanks for that – I had missed that fact.

A great deal of the slow down in prices has been employers pushing back, working with medical IT firms to expose prices for employees, more HDHP plans, and a variety of other things. Yes, the economy is helping control costs as well – unfortunately.

ObamaCare doubles down on everything wrong with insurance – and besides covering more people will make all coverage more expensive by counteracting everything employers have been working on. ObamaCare is a price increaser. Every benefit guy will tell you the same thing. There are no price control pressure.

Zomcon JEM on September 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Obama: My policies are totally the cause behind the slowdown in health care costs

Like everything else that Obama says, this is true ONLY if you ignore reality.

The REAL costs of Obamacare include 9 million jobs lost, tens of thousands of medical providers put out of business or resigned from the health care system, huge numbers of medical devices no longer available, destruction of medical privacy, destruction of financial privacy, etc., etc., etc.

In other words, only the TOTALLY IGNORANT and/or the WORST HABITUAL LIARS could make such an obviously false statement.

landlines on September 20, 2013 at 2:09 PM

It’s amazing the Health Care Law has more pages than the complete text of a medical school with not a word about health and they are still adding more.

mixplix on September 20, 2013 at 5:34 PM