Surprise: Health care and insurance costs still on the up and up

Oh, the costly and complex revelations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — will they never cease?

Part of then-candidate Obama’s argumentation for a plan for instituting universal health care was that such a plan would help to lower the costs and premiums for both individuals and businesses — and he estimated that we’d be able to see these widespread benefits by the end of his first term in office.

But ABC is reporting on two new independent studies suggesting that both health insurance premiums and health care spending are rising at an accelerated pace during Obama’s tenure. Oh joy, oh rapture:

Spending on health care rose 4.6 percent in 2011 — up $4,500 per person, on average — according to the nonpartisan Health Care Cost Institute. That’s up from a 3.8 growth rate in 2010.

Health insurance premiums for individuals and families also climbed year-over-year, up 3 percent ($186) on average for an individual and 4 percent ($672) on average for a family, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

During Obama’s term, between 2009 to 2012, premiums have climbed $2,370 for the average family with an employer-provided plan – a rate faster than the during the previous four years under President George W. Bush, according to Kaiser. …

During the 2008 campaign and health care reform debate in 2009, President Obama said repeatedly that his plan would bend the cost curve downward, ultimately saving the average family $2,500 per year.

At a rally in Virginia in June 2008, Obama said: “In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.” …

“We won’t do all this twenty years from now, or ten years from now,” he said. “We’ll do it by the end of my first term as President of the United States.”

Administration officials have insisted that the goal has always been to slowly decelerate the pace at which health care costs are rising, and that more savings will manifest themselves in the long-term as ObamaCare is fully implemented; but paired with all of ObamaCare’s other little surprises (doctor shortages, regulatory and bureaucratic costs, innovation-killing taxes), why am I not comforted?