If it weren’t for the fact that so many people are going to be hurt by these findings, this would be a moment to gloat.
Associated Press: [...] Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million 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, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.[…]
In particular, concerns about Medicare could become a major political liability in the midterm elections. The report 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.[…]
The report acknowledged that some of the cost-control measures in the bill — Medicare cuts, a tax on high-cost insurance and a commission to seek ongoing Medicare savings — could help reduce the rate of cost increases beyond 2020. But it held out little hope for progress in the first decade.
"During 2010-2019, however, these effects would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage," wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare's chief actuary. "Also, the longer-term viability of the Medicare ... reductions is doubtful." Foster's office is responsible for long-range costs estimates.[…]
In addition to flagging provider cuts as potentially unsustainable, the report projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.
In another flashing yellow light, the report warned that a new voluntary long-term care insurance program created under the law faces "a very serious risk" of insolvency.
Everyone on the right was warning about these things. We all saw the bogus assumptions the Democrats handed to the CBO to get back the figures they wanted. Now that ObamaCare is law, the phony assumptions are replaced with reality and the picture isn’t pretty.
I suspect thing will be even worse. The way ObamaCare is written, I think less people will end up being insured than before. If your choice is to pay a couple hundred-dollar fine versus buying an insurance policy well over a grand, you will take the fee. Add to the fact that you can always buy insurance at the last possible second now that insurance companies cannot deny you and you have a recipe for more uninsured.
On the bright side, as more and more nasty details of ObamaCare come to light before 2012, the better the chance we have of repealing and replacing it.
Via: Associated Press