The 4 Biggest Obama Care Lies

Where to begin?

1. We can’t afford our current health care system. ObamaCare reduces costs:

…The president, citing the work of several health-policy experts, claimed that improved care coordination, investments in information technology, and more efficient marketing through exchanges would save the typical family $2,500 per year.

That was then. Now, even advocates for the law acknowledge that premiums are going up. In analyses conducted for the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado, Jonathan Gruber of MIT forecasts that premiums in the non-group market will rise by 19% to 30% due to the law. Other estimates are even higher. The actuarial firm Milliman predicts that non-group premiums in Ohio will rise by 55%-85%. Maine, Oregon and Nevada have sponsored their own studies, all of which reach essentially the same conclusion.

I have a dear friend who is an attorney in the midwest. As a self-employed guy, his coverage is exactly half of ours in Massachusetts. I cannot wait, simply cannot wait, for Americans to get the full bill for ObamaCare. BTL and I talked and talked, presented evidence based on the fact that Massachusetts has beta ObamaCare, and no one listened. Time to pay up.

2. Our deficits will go down as health care costs decrease.

Increases in the estimated impact of the law on private insurance premiums, along with increases in the estimated cost of health care more generally, have led the Congressional Budget Office to increase its estimate of the budget cost of the law’s coverage expansion. In 2010, CBO estimated the cost per year of expanding coverage at $154 billion; by 2012, the estimated cost grew to $186 billion. Yet CBO still scores the law as reducing the deficit.

So they’re still lying.

3. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.

This claim is obviously false. Indeed, disruption of people’s existing insurance is one of the law’s stated goals. On one hand, the law seeks to increase the generosity of policies that it deems too stingy, by limiting deductibles and mandating coverage that the secretary of Health and Human Services thinks is “essential,” whether or not the policyholder can afford it. On the other hand, the law seeks to reduce the generosity of policies that it deems too extravagant, by imposing the “Cadillac tax” on costly insurance plans.

Employer-sponsored insurance has already begun to change. According to the annual Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey, the share of workers in high-deductible plans rose to 19% in 2012 from 13% in 2010.

That’s just the intended consequences. One of the law’s unintended consequences is that some employers will drop coverage in response to new regulations and the availability of subsidized insurance in the new exchanges. How many is anybody’s guess. In 2010, CBO estimated that employer-sponsored coverage would decline by three million people in 2019; by 2012, CBO’s estimate had doubled to six million.

I disagree slightly. I think the intended consequence is for the law to fail, and then for a panicked public to demand single payer health care.

4. The law will increase productivity.

In 2009, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers concluded that health reform would reduce unemployment, raise labor supply, and improve the functioning of labor markets. According to its reasoning, expanding insurance coverage would reduce absenteeism, disability and mortality, thereby encouraging and enabling work.

This reasoning is flawed. The evidence that a broad coverage expansion would improve health is questionable. Some studies have shown that targeted coverage can improve the health of certain groups. But according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured, “evidence is lacking that health insurance improves the health of non-elderly adults.” More recent work by Richard Kronick, a health-policy adviser to former President Bill Clinton, concludes “there is little evidence to suggest that extending insurance coverage to all adults would have a large effect on the number of deaths in the U.S.”

The reasoning is flawed because insurance isn’t health care. And no matter how many times we said it, the public couldn’t grasp the difference. (But Aggie – the public opposes ObamaCare! Really? Then they should have voted for Romney.)

I had an interesting conversation with someone who runs a health care enterprise. She told me that ObamaCare will fail and be replaced with a single payer system – and intentionally so – and that we should have done that in the first place. She is untroubled by the fact that a 2,000 page bill was passed without being read, or that it is failing before implementation. “That was the only way to get single payer in our country.”

So that’s that. We have the government we deserve.

- Aggie

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