Monday, September 13, 2010

Health care costs will rise despite Obama promises

But, but... President Obama promised I could keep my current insurance and ... He PROMISED. And he said he would use ideas from the Republicans... But Friday he said you people just don't understand. It's all very complicated and he tried. But see how he failed to fulfill his promises. Look at the analysis from his own Medicare Office of the Actuary Big G
President Barack Obama told voters repeatedly during the health care debate that the overhaul legislation would bring down fast-rising health care costs and save them money. Now, he's hemming and hawing on that. So far, the law he signed earlier this year hasn't had the desired effect. An analysis from Medicare's Office of the Actuary this week said that the nation's health care tab will go up -- not down -- through 2019 as a result of Obama's sweeping law, though the increase is modest. Obama offered some caveats when asked in his news conference Friday about the apparent discrepancy between what he promised and what's actually happening so far. On several other topics, too, his rhetoric fell short of a full accounting. A look at some of the claims at his news conference and how they compare with the facts: [Last Friday] Obama: Said he never expected to extend insurance coverage to an additional 31 million people "for free." He added that "we've made huge progress" if medical inflation could be brought down to the level of overall inflation, or somewhere slightly above that. The facts: Those claims may be supported in the fine print of the plan he pitched to Congress and a skeptical public months ago. But they were rarely heard back then. "My proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions -- families, businesses and the federal government," he declared in March. Last August he predicted: "The American people are going to be glad that we acted to change an unsustainable system so that more people have coverage, we're bending the cost curve, and we're getting insurance reforms." On Friday, he conceded: "Bending the cost curve on health care is hard to do." The goal: "Slowly bring down those costs." The White House contends that although health care costs will rise when most of the changes take hold in 2014 and coverage is extended to the uninsured, costs will go down over the longer term as controls kick in. [Friday] Obama: "We took every idea out there about how to reduce or at least slow the costs of health care over time." The facts: One idea that most experts believe would do the most to control health costs -- directly taxing health benefits -- was missing in Obama's plan. Opposition from unions and others was too great, and Obama himself had campaigned against the idea. Some of the major cost controllers that did make it into the law -- including a tax on high-value insurance plans -- don't start until 2018. That tax was watered down and delayed, and other cost-control approaches also softened after opposition from hospitals and other interest groups. Health spending already accounts for about 17 percent of the economy and is projected to grow to nearly 20 percent in 2019. ...
The President promised and the President did not deliver.

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