More Costly Health Care Ahead

Peer-reviewed proof of ObamaCare's empty promises.

Health care spending in America will soar from $2.6 trillion in 2010 to $4.54 trillion by 2020, with nearly half of all spending for health to be made by government by 2020, according to a new national study by the peer-reviewed health policy journal Health Affairs.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in a 10-year forecast limited solely to ObamaCare provisions sheepishly admitted July 28 that health spending would grow at a slightly slower rate if we didn’t have the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Supporters call ObamaCare the Affordable Care Act. But it likely will be affordable in the same way Michelle Obama’s vacations with family and friends to Spain and South Africa have been affordable—on the taxpayer’s dime.

Total spending for ObamaCare is projected to grow each year by 5.8 percent, according to the forecast released by CMS July 28. If ObamaCare didn’t exist, spending would rise at a slightly slower rate—5.7 percent, CMS said.

But defending ObamaCare, much like Davy Crockett at the Alamo, was White House Health Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle. She was quoted as saying: “The Affordable Care Act creates changes in the health care system that typically don’t show up on an accounting table. We know these new provisions will save money for the health care system even if today’s report doesn’t credit these strategies with reducing cost.” This was rather like calling the CMS actuary a big fibber.

The Health Affairs journal said, “During this period [from now until 2020] we expect that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 will reduce the number of uninsured people by nearly 30 million, lead to prescription drugs and physician services accounting for a greater share of health spending than would have been the case otherwise, and contribute to an increase in the government-sponsored [federal, state, and local] share of health spending to just under 50 percent by 2020.”

So, President Obama’s shining promise that his national health care overhaul would drive down health costs proved to be like so many of his promises. In September 2008, campaigning Democratic presidential nominee Obama said: “We’ll cut the cost of a typical family’s health care by up to $2,500 per year." Among his pledges was that under his plan, everyone would be able to get health benefits at least as good as those available to members of Congress. Ironically, members of Congress tried to exempt themselves from the failed ObamaCare scheme. But apparently they are covered.

The spending forecast for ObamaCare could change completely if ObamaCare is declared unconstitutional or is repealed in a future Congress, which surely will happen if Obama loses the presidency in 2012.

Spending was forecast to grow by 5.8 percent annually under ObamaCare. The major reason was attributed to an enlarged insured population. By 2014, under the scheme, an estimated 23 million people are expected to get insurance, mainly through state health exchanges and the fact that many more people would be eligible for Medicaid where the government is expected to spend 20 percent more.

As for private insurance, it is expected to shoot up by 9.4 percent. Why the big increase? It’s because “the privately insured will be tapped to help pay the difference between what an expanded Medicaid base pays and what doctors charge,” said a story July 29 in The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), whose hundreds of agencies and programs make up and enforce ObamaCare, may well note the costs caused by its distortion and “claim that it should help solve the problem” it has caused.

A giant problem the HHS has not adequately addressed is that having Medicaid insurance doesn’t assure that a patient will see a doctor when ill.

Indiana University’s School of Medicine, for example, in a new study confirmed a national trend: the nation is looking at a severe doctor shortage in the next 15 years. The school is expanding class sizes to address the issue, which will make it the largest medical school in the country.

The Association of American Medical Colleges says graduation and training rates aren’t keeping up with the current shortage of about 150,000 physicians. At present, the country has about 350,000 primary care doctors. The association estimates that 91,000 more will be needed by 2020. In addition, medical colleges and hospitals are warning about a shortage of medical resident positions, according to Indiana News Station WIBC.

Some doctors today won’t even take Medicaid patients, the reimbursement rate is so low. So, when Nancy-Ann DeParle talks about provisions that “don’t show up on an accounting table,” she’s pouring the same kind of snake oil that her boss in the White House has been using to grease his never ending campaigning since he started running for president.