July 9 2010
Carrie L. Lukas
The press often stops to evaluate the "first 100 days" of a presidency or Congress. After the passage of sweeping changes to our health-care system, it's appropriate to check in on how things are progressing 100 days after the legislation was signed in to law.
This week, Sens. Tom Coburn and John Barrasso (both doctors) issued just such a report, Bad Medicine: A Check-up on The New Federal Health Law. It highlights some of what we've learned about how this law will change the medical system and affect individual citizens.
Among the key findings are rising costs, both for the country and the insured. They write:
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), premiums for millions of American families in 2016 will be 10-13 percent higher than they otherwise would be. This represents a $2100 increase per family, compared with the status quo....
This is not the only bad news. According to the same memo, the new health care law bends the cost curve upward and increases national health spending. In other words, health care will cost more because of this new law....According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) only about seven percent of American households will be eligible to receive the subsidies. This means that nine in 10 households will receive no subsidy or tax benefit for health insurance under the new law, and will continue to experience premium costs rising at or above their current rate of increase.
To make matters even worse, one in four Americans with the subsidy will still see their taxes increase, even after taking the subsidy into account. To accomplish savings for seven percent of Americans, the new law redistributes nearly $800 billion generated from increasing taxes and cutting Medicare for millions of other Americans.
They also highlight how many Americans are likely to lose their existing health-insurance coverage:
Contrary to the promise that Americans who like their current health plan can keep it, the Administration published a regulation regarding "grandfathered health plans" - plans that are exempt from the changes under the law. According to the published regulation, as many as seven out of every 10 businesses across the country will lose their grandfathered health plan. This means that about half of the more than 150 million Americans enrolled in employer plans will lose their current plan and either remain without employer coverage, or see the cost of that employer-provided coverage increase due to government mandates and regulation.
No wonder so many Americans want the law repealed. The next question is, how much worse will the news get? What will we learn in the next 100 days about the unintended consequences of this new health-care law?
- Carrie Lukas is vice president and director of policy at the Independent Women's Forum.