Mission accomplished: U.S. health-care spending soars nearly 10 percent in first quarter, most since 1980

posted at 2:41 pm on April 30, 2014 by Allahpundit

I wonder if this’ll come up during the next Rose Garden ObamaCare victory lap.

Obamacare was pitched as a plan to reduce health care spending, and formally titled the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” In 2009, Obama called the status quo – in which health care spending was accelerating toward becoming one-fifth of the economy – “unsustainable.”

For several years, Obama and his allies had been crediting a slowdown in the rate of growth for health care to payment reforms imposed by the law. But other analysts predicted that spending would pick up as the economy improved and people started loosening the family purse strings.

[T]he 9.9 percent jump (on an annualized basis) came in the quarter from January through March, which was the first three months in which individuals who gaining coverage through the law were able to use it. That was the fastest rate recorded since health care spending grew at a 10 percent rate in the third quarter of 1980.

That’s from Philip Klein, who notes that spending also rose 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 as the first few million O-Care sign-ups came onto the rolls. If you’re worried that a program that was sold in part on its ability to lower health-care spending can’t possibly be defended for raising health-care spending, relax. The first rule of ambitious liberal programs is that there are no trade-offs, at least in theory; that’s why Obama was able to blithely reassure people for years that they could keep their plan if they liked their plan, even though the whole point of O-Care was to force consumers from the old insurance market into the new one. Conn Carroll and Gabe Malor are having tons of fun on Twitter noting how Think Progress, in particular, has gone from cheering the slowdown in health-care spending over the past few years to cheering the skyrocket in health-care spending today. Notes Gabe:

Volsky also wrote today’s “more spending is good news” post at TP, natch. The liberal argument here is actually straightforward: Spending will rise short-term as all of the uninsured who just got coverage start using it, but long-term it’ll decline as IPAB starts working its magic and other reforms take effect. And if they’re wrong and spending ends up being much higher than expected, as it always is with every ambitious government health-care program? Well, then, the goalposts will shift and we’ll be told that the offsetting benefits of the law, like guaranteed issue, more than make up for the budget-busting costs. For now it’s enough to note that (a) near-term successes, like hitting eight million “sign-ups” irrespective of whether all eight million have actually paid their premiums, are important victories worthy of presidential proclamation, but (b) near-term setbacks, like a giant spike in health-care spending, are too-soon-to-tell trivia that should either be ignored or celebrated as victories themselves, since more spending means more people are getting care. Safe bet: You won’t see any Senate Democrats touting today’s “victory” in their ads this fall.

Exit question: Klein notes that GDP would have actually contracted this quarter if not for the goosing it got from ObamaCare spending. How soon before O starts touting this boondoggle as a stimulus?


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Freeing people up from their dollars!!!

ptcamn on April 30, 2014 at 2:43 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2014 at 2:44 PM

No more health plan lock.

Bishop on April 30, 2014 at 2:45 PM

This bill will not exceed 1 trillion dollars, otherwise we simply will not allow it to pass.

(Paraphrasing various Dem reps. in 2011/2012)

StubbornGreenBurros on April 30, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Yeah, but we’re going to get our $2500 savings soon, right?

d1carter on April 30, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Free health care has never been more expensive.

Keep voting democrat you imbecilic reprobates!

Murphy9 on April 30, 2014 at 2:46 PM

How soon before O starts touting this boondoggle as a stimulus?

Nancy Pelosi was way ahead of the curve with that one, proclaiming that Obamacare would ‘instantly’ create hundreds of thousands to millions of health care sector jobs.

We’re still waiting on conformation on that claim, too. So far, nada.

Good Lt on April 30, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Landriew, Hagan, Pryor and Begich, and all the rats from the House, go to Hell with obama.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2014 at 2:47 PM

This thing frees people up to be homeless…

d1carter on April 30, 2014 at 2:47 PM

The show is over. Exit the theater.
The grownups have entered the chamber, and to the disappointment of a few, we’re not gonna have a govt. shut down.
Exchanges open Oct 1st.
Repubs will start working with Dems now to sort various anomalies that exist…you know, govern and stuff.
Cruz will be adding pages to his mailing list and step up his fundraising.
It’s all going according to plan.
But feel good…you were part of that plan all along.

verbaluce on September 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Bishop on April 30, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Anyone seen the exchange between Jonathan Karl and Jay Carney? Testy, testy. The White House cannot take the heat.

esr1951 on April 30, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Exit question: Klein notes that GDP would have actually contracted this quarter if not for the goosing it got from ObamaCare spending. How soon before O starts touting this boondoggle as a stimulus?


… 3 … 2 … 1

“Personal Consumption spending FINALLY increased by a healty 3.0% significantly higher than the expected 2.0%.”

What?!? You don’t watch the latest propaganda on CNBC?!?

Guess WHAT drove Personal Consumption and Services higher …

PolAgnostic on April 30, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Volsky also wrote today’s “more spending is good news” post at TP, natch

Liberalism is a mental disorder… We see it in thousands of cases each day in our lives… It is more true now than ever… The disorder has gotten worse than ever…

mnjg on April 30, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Don’t forget that Obama was able to move fwd with the ACA by ignoring the demands of the left.
 
verbaluce on November 5, 2013 at 5:46 PM

rogerb on April 30, 2014 at 2:49 PM

??? His boonagle does not even fuction…it’s there yeah but it’s so busted and confusing no one knows if it’s even got those “8″ million enrollees…

sorrowen on April 30, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Finally, we’re spending more on healthcare…..

d1carter on April 30, 2014 at 2:50 PM

It all makes sense now. Obamacare is where all the shovel ready jobs were.

trubble on April 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

We need bayam in here on this one. A fine financial mind.

butch on April 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

verbaluce on September 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Bishop on April 30, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Yeah this guy is so extremely smart… We are so lucky to have him in our midst enlightening us the retarded ignorant hicks with his supreme wisdom and intellect…

mnjg on April 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Shows there was a lot of pent up demand for affordable healthcare. People who had previously ignored preventative medicine, finally joined the party. Victory lap for Obama.

El_Terrible on April 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Just wait until the rate increase notices come out in October…….

The insurance companies better be careful though, the Obama administration will sic the IRS, SEC, DOJ, and any other government organization they can on them.

Tater Salad on April 30, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2014 at 2:44 PM

.
FYI, the insurance companies are getting set to release the first projected cost increases for employer funded plan health care plans for 2015 …

… with an AVERAGE of 15% as the FIRST approximation.

PolAgnostic on April 30, 2014 at 2:52 PM

OT…

esr1951 on April 30, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Jay Carney v. Jonathan Karl
Today’s WH Press Briefing

CoffeeLover on April 30, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Exit question: Klein notes that GDP would have actually contracted this quarter if not for the goosing it got from ObamaCare spending. How soon before O starts touting this boondoggle as a stimulus?

For Dems, it doesn’t matter what’s in the money hole just as long as your throwing “Rich” peoples money into it.

WisRich on April 30, 2014 at 2:54 PM

but long-term it’ll decline as IPAB starts working its magic and other reforms take effect.

Because the death panels will ensure you don’t get medical help.

rbj on April 30, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I wonder which part of this growth comes from abortion industry. Any statistics?

Rix on April 30, 2014 at 2:56 PM

lol you can bet this WH is already looking for a way to “postpone” those insurance companies releasing premium rates til after November.

CoffeeLover on April 30, 2014 at 2:58 PM

GDP .1% 1st Qtr…

Now you know what the $$ loss in growth was spent on…

PatriotRider on April 30, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Freeing people up from their dollars!!!

ptcamn on April 30, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Bammy, “If you like your change, you can keep your change.”

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Winning the Future.

That’s be embossed on teh Obamacare boot stomping your face for eternity.

Murphy9 on April 30, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Good grief…*That’ll be

Murphy9 on April 30, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Carney says email wasn’t specifically about Bengahzi, Jon Karl post email on Twitter with the Title “Benghazi”….

d1carter on April 30, 2014 at 3:01 PM

CoffeeLover on April 30, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Listen to that jackwad, he never answers just throws it back on the CIA.

Bishop on April 30, 2014 at 3:05 PM

1000 words

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Carney says email wasn’t specifically about Bengahzi, Jon Karl post email on Twitter with the Title “Benghazi”….

d1carter on April 30, 2014 at 3:01 PM

The MSM is starting to figure out covering up lies isn’t good for their business.

Tater Salad on April 30, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Jay Carney v. Jonathan Karl
Today’s WH Press Briefing

CoffeeLover on April 30, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Black is white. Up is down.

butch on April 30, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Lie # 14,966, I thought we were going to pay down the debt as well with Odumbocare!

rjoco1 on April 30, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Bishop on April 30, 2014 at 3:05 PM

yup and he doesn’t do a very convincing job of it. Karl was a dog with a bone. Hopefully, more of this “puppets” will begin to really question this administration. I’m still not holding my breathe.

CoffeeLover on April 30, 2014 at 3:09 PM

We need bayam in here on this one. A fine financial mind.

butch on April 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Or just read a Krugman column.

de rigueur on April 30, 2014 at 3:12 PM

I know my costs have sure skyrocketed. Along with energy prices.

sadatoni on April 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

… 3 … 2 … 1

“Personal Consumption spending FINALLY increased by a healty 3.0% significantly higher than the expected 2.0%.”

What?!? You don’t watch the latest propaganda on CNBC?!?

Guess WHAT drove Personal Consumption and Services higher …

PolAgnostic on April 30, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Oh I know this one! I will take Hamburger meat at $5.00 a pound Alex.

Johnnyreb on April 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeorgan on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

…we know you’re here today!…get your chub out of your mouth…and say something something!

KOOLAID2 on April 30, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Don’t get upset because Obamacare is here to stay and so are all the illegals. There is nothing that can be done, but please vote for me because well I’m a Republican.

Wigglesworth on April 30, 2014 at 3:15 PM

I know my costs have sure skyrocketed. Along with energy prices.

sadatoni on April 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

That’s gone unnoticed. Whats the deal with gas prices? They’re over $4 here.

Can’t believe the msm isn’t having a fit over it.
/s

El_Terrible on April 30, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Because the death panels will ensure you don’t get medical help.

rbj on April 30, 2014 at 2:55 PM

….soon!…every hospital will be an Arizona VA hospital!

KOOLAID2 on April 30, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Don’t get upset because Obamacare is here to stay and so are all the illegals. There is nothing that can be done, but please vote for me because well I’m a Republican.

Wigglesworth on April 30, 2014 at 3:15 PM

lol. Sums up GOP position, but add deficits and abortions are here to stay.

El_Terrible on April 30, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Spending will rise short-term as all of the uninsured who just got coverage start using it,

That’s an optimistic take on the situation, isn’t it?. Lots of patients with chronic conditions were basically forced to make the change to a QHBP under the law. Deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance amounts of QHBPs are higher than what was seen in previous coverage, which drives out-of-pocket costs back to the consumer rather than the health insurance providers. This could easily account for the increase in consumer spending. And this would be repetitive pattern, seen on a year-to-year basis, unless significant decreases are seen for these items in health insurance coverage.

but long-term it’ll decline as IPAB starts working its magic and other reforms take effect.

We really need someone to tell the public the truth about quality of life matrix before it is too late.

lineholder on April 30, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Exit question: Klein notes that GDP would have actually contracted this quarter if not for the goosing it got from ObamaCare spending. How soon before O starts touting this boondoggle as a stimulus?

In 3, 2, 1….

The problem is that most spending on health care, which thanks to PlaceboCare’s individual insurance mandate includes health insurance, is nothing more productive than the basic “cost of living”. Therefore, increased spending on health care/health insurance represents equally-decreased spending everywhere else in the productive portions of the economy.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2014 at 3:23 PM

I know my costs have sure skyrocketed. Along with energy prices.

sadatoni on April 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM</blockquote

Going as planned. As with all spending, as an example:

Bammy, "When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

Just about every necessity will skyrocket in price.

Necessarily.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Mission accomplished: U.S. health-care spending soars nearly 10 percent in first quarter, most since 1980

…but…but…but he is working hard today to boost the minimum wage…despite those evil Republicans!

KOOLAID2 on April 30, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Free health care has never been more expensive.

Keep voting democrat you imbecilic reprobates!

Murphy9 on April 30, 2014 at 2:46 PM

But, but, but………. they care about people like me/share my values!!!!

- typical everyday imbecilic reprobate

djm1992 on April 30, 2014 at 3:29 PM

I’ve been utilizing a lot of the health care system in the last 45 days, thankfully through our employer plan. So I have been observing, and THIS THING IS NOT WORKING. Local hospital NOT taking CoveredCA policies, folks getting sent 22 miles down to County. Doctor says you need physical therapy? Six month wait period. People walking out of offices because they can’t pay the co-pay or deductible first. How long do you think those people will continue to pay premiums???

MikeinPRCA on April 30, 2014 at 3:30 PM

King Barack the Magnificent obviously took his economics course at the University of Zimbabwe.

GarandFan on April 30, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Oh I know this one! I will take Hamburger meat at $5.00 a pound Alex.

Johnnyreb on April 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

That was the previous 2 quarters. This quarter (and last), it’s the doubling of your health insurance premium (and if you previously didn’t have health insurance, the infinite percentage increase in spending on that).

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

I’ve been utilizing a lot of the health care system in the last 45 days, thankfully through our employer plan. So I have been observing, and THIS THING IS NOT WORKING. Local hospital NOT taking CoveredCA policies, folks getting sent 22 miles down to County. Doctor says you need physical therapy? Six month wait period. People walking out of offices because they can’t pay the co-pay or deductible first. How long do you think those people will continue to pay premiums???

MikeinPRCA on April 30, 2014 at 3:30 PM

If this were AoSHQ, I’d be socking Teh SCOAMT and ReWriting™ “THIS THING IS NOT WORKING.” That destruction is precisely what was intended.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Maybe you can answer this one for me.

These plans have limited networks of providers, including hospitals. What happens if a patient goes to a hospital for what they believe to be is an emergency, but the hospital isn’t in network? Under EMTALA, the hospital can’t turn them away, right? Yet upon utilization review, the health insurance provider could decide that the event does not meet the criteria of an emergency.

Does the hospital end up eating the cost?

If yes, then this is going to be a tough year, especially with DSH being cut for hospitals.

lineholder on April 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

We’re back to 1980? If this keeps up, disco will come back.

Ward Cleaver on April 30, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Maybe you can answer this one for me.

These plans have limited networks of providers, including hospitals. What happens if a patient goes to a hospital for what they believe to be is an emergency, but the hospital isn’t in network? Under EMTALA, the hospital can’t turn them away, right? Yet upon utilization review, the health insurance provider could decide that the event does not meet the criteria of an emergency.

Does the hospital end up eating the cost?

If yes, then this is going to be a tough year, especially with DSH being cut for hospitals.

lineholder on April 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Wish I could definitively answer that. My best guess is the hospital would try to recover from the patient (operative word – try).

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Maybe you can answer this one for me.

These plans have limited networks of providers, including hospitals. What happens if a patient goes to a hospital for what they believe to be is an emergency, but the hospital isn’t in network? Under EMTALA, the hospital can’t turn them away, right? Yet upon utilization review, the health insurance provider could decide that the event does not meet the criteria of an emergency.

Does the hospital end up eating the cost?

If yes, then this is going to be a tough year, especially with DSH being cut for hospitals.

lineholder on April 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

No, of course the hospital does not ‘eat the cost’, that’s a myth used to push through the piece-of-crap Obamacare. Hospital ERs only ‘eat the cost’ in the case of ILLEGAL ALIENS, who can just walk away, go back to Mexico, or go to a Mexican consulate and get ID in another name.

For regular folks, you end up with bills that you have to pay off with second mortgages, wage garnish, and whatever you have. The hospital chargemaster will come after you the same way any bill collector does.

Also remember that if the hospital is out-of-network, those costs will not count against your high deductible.

slickwillie2001 on April 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Oh thank God.

Sandra and her friends are back at full capacity.

WryTrvllr on April 30, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Another obamacare success story!

everadipshit on April 30, 2014 at 2:26 PM

HumpBot Salvation on April 30, 2014 at 4:09 PM

slickwillie2001 on April 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

That’s partially right. They do pursue collections, don’t disagree with that. Not as much as people think, though, because collections costs can grow beyond the cost of the bill over time, and it’s been simpler for them to just absorb those costs.

Medicare/Medicaid provider payment formula that has been used for years allowed hospitals to recoup some of those costs, so that the risk impact didn’t become destabilizing and have a negative impact on access to care. This payment was provided for Disproportionate Share Hospitals ( called DSH) and has been significant in allowing hospitals with a high proportion of uninsured to continue to treat patients.

DHHS made the decision to phase out DSH payments, beginning this year. So hospitals do not have these funds as a resource any more. (They weren’t counting on the low enrollment and limited networks)

I know we have a situation where risk is increasing dramatically for private practice doctors, but I was just wondering about hospitals.

lineholder on April 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

lineholder on April 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Should be

So hospitals do not have these funds as a resource any more like they have had in the past

lineholder on April 30, 2014 at 4:13 PM

All of this bad news for Obama will be forgotten when “Recovery Summer V” kicks into full gear.

J_Crater on April 30, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Somehow I don’t think this will be the lead story (or even mentioned) on any of the network news shows tonight.

bw222 on April 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Bending the cost curve down.

Wait. DOWN?!

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Please stop this, Our President has said the debate is over.

Sven on April 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Is there anything that guy can do without screwing it up?

rplat on April 30, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Well I for one am grateful to know that being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. Thank you Obamacare for restoring my dignity.

kringeesmom on April 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

kringeesmom on April 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

That wasn’t Obama. That was Sweden around 25 years ago.

WryTrvllr on April 30, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Without that spending, our GDP would have been negative.

p0s3r on April 30, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Volsky also wrote today’s “more spending is good news” post at TP, natch. The liberal argument here is actually straightforward: Spending will rise short-term as all of the uninsured who just got coverage start using it, but long-term it’ll decline as IPAB starts working its magic and other reforms take effect. And if they’re wrong and spending ends up being much higher than expected, as it always is with every ambitious government health-care program? Well, then, the goalposts will shift and we’ll be told that the offsetting benefits of the law, like guaranteed issue, more than make up for the budget-busting costs. For now it’s enough to note that (a) near-term successes, like hitting eight million “sign-ups” irrespective of whether all eight million have actually paid their premiums, are important victories worthy of presidential proclamation, but (b) near-term setbacks, like a giant spike in health-care spending, are too-soon-to-tell trivia that should either be ignored or celebrated as victories themselves, since more spending means more people are getting care. Safe bet: You won’t see any Senate Democrats touting today’s “victory” in their ads this fall.

Exit question: Klein notes that GDP would have actually contracted this quarter if not for the goosing it got from ObamaCare spending. How soon before O starts touting this boondoggle as a stimulus?

Absolutely spot on.

KMC1 on April 30, 2014 at 7:52 PM