Health Care Reform Will Increase Costs

Remember how health care proponents in Washington said their reform bill would reduce costs of all kinds? It would reduce health care costs, and reduce Federal deficits? Not only were they wrong, it looks like there was an active attempt to keep non-CBO cost approximations out of the debate.

(Incidentally, the CBO numbers are constrained to the assumptions of the legislation, which may or may not have any bearing on reality: http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2010/03/cbo-credibility-first-victim-of.html.)

Via the Associated Press:

President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will increase the nation’s health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.

A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama’s aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls.

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, however, since the report also warned that Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, forcing lawmakers to roll them back.

Note that the report is not from an opposition conservative right-wing Republican anti-government Tea Party libertarian organization. It’s from current administration’s department of Health & Human Services. Via Reason.com:

Washington is shocked, SHOCKED to learn that the Affordable Care Act might not be as easy to pay for as promised. According to an AP summary, a new report “found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.”

But didn’t budget-hottie Peter Orszag warn us not to be swayed by such obviously false charges? After all, ObamaCare is fiscally responsible! What clan of knee-jerk critics could have produced such a report? The libertarians at Cato? The conservatives at Heritage? The neocons at AEI? The socialists at Physicians for a National Health Plan?

Try again: This is the word straight from the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services Department, the agency assigned to manage the reforms at the federal level.

Nor did the report’s bad news stop there. It also “projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.” So when the President told AARP members that “nobody is talking about reducing Medicare benefits,” presumably he meant nobody but, um, Medicare’s chief actuary.

So, all those cost savings we were promised by proponents of health care reform? Vapor.

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