NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Obamacare's Costs are Climbing, Not Receding

February 11, 2015

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the costs of Obamacare in expanding insurance coverage would cost 20% less than expected.  Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, writes that a closer look shows that Obamacare is increasing rather than decreasing healthcare costs without achieving results.

The Congressional Budget Office previously projected that Obamacare would cover 34 million uninsured Americans.  Yet, the number has now been downgraded to 27 million, leaving 31 million Americans without health insurance.  Subsidies are expect to cost 7% more than projected, and the whole law is expected to cost $2 trillion over the next decade.  This is nearly over twice the initial cost projection of $940 billion. With the mounting costs to cover the uninsured, the previously insured are paying the price.  10 million Americans will lose their employer-sponsored health insurance as a result of the law, especially those who work for small companies burdened by the law's requirements.

The law's provision have spurred increasing costs.  With national health spending rising 5.6% last year, a 50% increase in the average annual health inflation rate compared to the past 6 years.  Pipes proposes a compelling alternative: a voucher system for beneficiaries. Consumers would then be able to make effective choices, improving quality and reducing costs.  Oregon experimented with such a program and reduced emergency room visits by 17% and costs by 19%.

Source: Sally Pipes, "Buried In the Numbers: Obamacare's Costs are Climbing, Not Receding," Forbes, February 9, 2015.

 

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