This new tax will affect 156 million Americans.
The Obamacare policy writers made a big economic flaw that will cost Hoosiers more money buying health insurance. Continue reading →
The runaway costs of Obamacare are appearing to be kicking in. Continue reading →
Medicaid stats out there media and government will not talk about.
Continue reading →
Dr. Ed Yardeni has put together a post showing the consumer has saved dollars YTD on gasoline prices, the savings is being eaten up by higher medical expenses.
Last week, I observed that while consumers are spending less of their budgets on gasoline, they are spending more on health care. The latest data through January show that the percentage of current-dollar consumption for gasoline plunged from last year’s high of 3.2% to 2.1% in January. Consumers saved $133 billion (saar) on gasoline over this period.
On the other hand, the percentage of their outlays for health care goods and services rose from last year’s low of 20.0% during March to 20.6% during January. I received lots of inquiries about this topic. Most readers want to know if this is attributable to Obamacare, which seems to have raised health insurance premiums, deductibles, and copays. I think so, but I don’t have the data to corroborate this conjecture.
Health care consumption includes spending paid for by both insurance and government programs, as well as out-of-pocket costs. Presumably and anecdotally, the latter have risen sharply. However, that wouldn’t necessarily bloat overall spending, though more out-of-pocket outlays would depress spending on other goods and services.
The new healthcare law that passed in 2010 was more of an expansion of getting people on medicaid then getting insurance. Medicaid is the “universal health care” that most don’t realize exists and it is taking on millions of new people each year. FORBES magazine has pretty lengthy write up about this program along with medicare.
Doctors seeing Medicare patients face a 24 percent cut in reimbursements beginning January 1. But almost no one has grasped that those cuts will hit Medicaid too—thanks to Obamacare. Together both programs cover more than 100 million Americans, and the government expects about 9 million more people to join Medicaid next year.
The number of just regular doctors is drying up as new doctors coming out of med school go into specialty areas. Doctors cannot afford new Medicaid patients and here is one reason why:
Medicaid pays doctors about 59 percent of what medicare pays them—which is why doctors increasingly refuse to take new Medicaid patients.
In 2012 doctors ran to the exits in fleeing medicaid.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a document showing that 9,500 doctors who had previously accepted Medicaid patients refused to do so in 2012.
In 2013 Congress voted to increase medicaid payments at the same rate of medicare. Now that is about to get cut again. The up and down of government intrusion in healthcare as this complicated law unfolds is taking a toll on our healthcare system. The people who suffer ultimately will be the patients.
Prescription drugs, new federal rules and insurer fees will help drive up healthcare premium costs related to Obamacare “Silver Plans” in Indiana by 16%. Bloomberg Business fills a rather short article with lots of good financial nuggets for readers to absorb. Bloomberg broke down the pricing.
How insurers set prices: Cost of claims, benefit changes, rising prices, risk pools, provider networks, geography, reinsurance, taxes and fees, profit and risk load.
With all that calculated, this is what they got for various states:
When Congress passed another healthcare plan designed to “help” the American people it had widespread implications. The bill has thousands of pages of not just law, but also regulations written after the bill was passed.
One of the programs within the bill for the HHS(Health & Human Services) agency to begin implementing right away was a “High Risk Pool” for people with already pre-existing conditions. I have been following this program for awhile now in the press. Here is the short version of what the program was created to do. Five Billion dollars was set aside to assist people with already pre-existing conditions until the full bill was implemented. Projections were to sign up anywhere from 350,000-500,000 people. Now the stats are out and should give many pause in seeing how costs of the total health care program will affect the United States government overall spending of this bill down the road.
Investors.com reported on April 10,2013:
ObamaCare funded the PCIP with $5 billion to cover patients with pre-existing conditions from 2010 to 2014. Less than a third of the people HHS projected would enroll in the plan actually signed up for the coverage. Yet despite the low enrollment, the plan is broke. In fact, it started running out of money at the beginning of this year, which means it busted its budget a full year ahead of projections. In a 2012 report, HHS conceded that it had miscalculated (though not until page 11 of its 15-page report): “On average, the PCIP program has experienced claims costs 2.5 times higher than anticipated.”
So what were the estimated numbers in 2010 for this one small program within the bigger healthcare plan? Here is a breakdown from the Heritage Foundation:
In 2010, the Obama Administration estimated that 375,000 people would enroll in the PCIP. But as of January 2013, over two-and-a-half years since the plan began, only 107,139 were enrolled—less than 29 percent of original projections.
Not only did costs skyrocket, but major changes to the program recipients as well:
In addition to suspending enrollment, CMS made major benefit adjustments in an effort to control program costs—mainly by increasing enrollee cost-sharing requirements. These changes included the consolidation of three plan options into one, increased co-insurance, and increased maximums for out-of-pocket costs (a 56 percent increase for in-network services and a 42 percent increase for out-of-network services).
This is not unexpected. History is filled with facts to teach us present day Americans about the fallacy of “Government Healthcare Programs” but we always choose the divine providence of “The Government” when it comes to social experiments. In the same article quoted above, they also had this historical data to show us the coming cost explosion from previous healthcare experiments:
In 1965, the Johnson administration figured Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990. Its actual cost was $110 billion. Now it’s almost $600 billion and climbing.
Washingtontimes.com had these historical numbers on November 18,2009:
In 1965, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that the hospital insurance program of Medicare – the federal health care program for the elderly and disabled – would cost $9 billion by 1990. The actual cost that year was $67 billion. In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee said the entire Medicare program would cost $12 billion in 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was $98 billion.
Once 2014 kicks in which is full implementation of the law itself, we unfortunately will be on the side of waiting to see costs explode. Not only that aspect, but HHS will probably start changing rules once people have signed contracts for health insurance. Constantly changing rules is part of having “Centrally Planned” programs by the government.
Like I said, we unfortunately will have to wait and see.