Nationwide Health Spending to Rise Slightly Under ObamaCare


Another day, another government report showing that the new health care law will increase total U.S. health spending over the next decade. This one, a mid-year update to the February report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, found that the rise will probably only be, as 50 Cent might say, just a lil' bit—about 0.2 percent compared with the projected increase if the law had not passed. The White House seems fairly pleased with the report, saying that it shows that the health care overhaul will expand insurance coverage and reduce the average cost of insurance per insured individual. Well, sure. If you increase spending somewhat but spread it across a larger population, then the average goes down. But averages don't tell you which parts of that population are likely to shoulder the bulk of the cost burden, and there's no indication of what the actual distribution will look like.

And, it's worth noting, the 0.2 percent spike estimate is rather hopeful. That projection relies on at least one rather dubious assumption—that Congress will actually allow a schedule 23 percent reduction in Medicare doctor payments this December. But there's virtually no reason to believe those cuts will occur; the law calling for those cuts has been in place for over a decade, and every year since 2003, Congress has overridden the law—and frequently in favor of payment hikes.

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  1. OK that makes a lot of sense


  2. Nationwide Health Spending to Rise Slightly Under ObamaCare

    … just a tad.”

    “Excuse me, miss, but what exactly is a ‘tad’?”

  3. Also left out of the report is the decrease in quality and access to care that comes with the pay cut, as well as the cost of a loss of innovation when the government decides what gets covered.

    1. That’s the unseen, so don’t worry about it.

  4. Now the liberals on Megan McArdle are informing everyone that this bill was “The Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney’s health care bill”. I am not kidding. The liberal line now is that Obama sold out to the Right and passed a right wing health care bill that is unpopular and a failure. And they say this without a hint of irony.

    1. You’re shitting us. Link? Though to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me. Cognitive dissonance is not something that leftists have the least problem with.

      1. Here you go

        “I shouldn’t be taking the time to reply to this, but you’re so audaciously off-the-wall with this stuff, I can’t resist.

        Just to summarize — refusing to regulate the CDS market is not liberalism. Doubling down on Bush’s police state is not liberalism. Passing the Heritage Foundation’s and Mitt Romney’s health care plan is not liberalism.”


        No shit. I doubt this guy thought of this himself.

      2. What kills that argument for them was their failure to get one of the Mainers or any other moderate Republican to sign on.

        If just one Republican squish had been necessary to get the bill passed, then the entire hate of the Left could be focused on “Obama and the Dems wanted a better bill, but this is what they had to do because the nasty Republicans made them.”

        But nope, they own this whole crap sandwich. The hatred of the Left, to assuage their cognitive dissonance, must be focused on the moderate Dems.

    2. Those talking points circulated earlier this year. Lot’s of “it’s the Republican plan from 94” talk. Here’s the first link I found


  5. I’d feel better about this if the GOP pols who’re going to win by beating this issue to death weren’t spineless hacks who’ll just increase the red tape around it rather than gutting it and killing it dead.

    1. They’re spineless, yes, but favorable polling data has a way of stiffening politician spines.

  6. The article also notes that in 2014 the price spike will be 9.2% up from 6.6% when the rest of the law’s provisions will take effect. I would also like to see the projected increase for the currently insured over these years not just the overall amount spent on healthcare. If a person previously spending their own money is now spending someone else’s money, that would not be reflected in the fed’s data.

    This, as is mentioned in the post, is all assuming that cost of the law will be as predicted, and there’s basically no reason to believe that.

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