The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services released a report this morning touting health insurance "savings" resulting from last year’s health care overhaul. Some families, a press release declares, can even save up to $14,900 annually! For visual learners, there are even bar graphs. Interestingly, those so-called savings just happen match the taxpayer-funded federal subsidies the law will provide to families in order to purchase health insurance. At Forbes, David Whelan explains:
Check out the one called “Family Health Insurance Premiums in 2014.” For a family that makes less than $33,525 the report shows that for a health insurance premium that costs $11,300 in 2014, the family will pay only $1,400 and will receive $9,900 in savings. Of course the savings are no more than the subsidy that the government will pay toward the same $11,300 policy. A family making just over six figures qualifies for “savings” of $2,300.
Remember: CBO estimated that, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the cost of individual market health insurance policies (i.e.: the policies that the law subsidizes) would rise by about 10-13 percent due to a number of factors. The reason that the Obama administration can tout savings is that, starting in 2014, federal dollars will subsidize a big chunk of the purchase price of those policies. The price isn’t going down. Taxpayers are just paying a share.