Thursday, May 6, 2010

ObamaCare: According To Plan?

When Richard Foster, chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, issued a report last month on the financial effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, attention was fixed on his spending estimates, and rightly so: Overall health care spending would grow by $311 billion from 2010 to 2019 due to the Democrats' reform, while federal spending would rise by $211 billion over that same time. These figures are germane because health care reform was sold as the policy that would cut spending and bring down the deficit. President Obama promised the overhaul wouldn't add "one dime" to the deficit, which is probably that same dime he said he wouldn't raise taxes by on families earning less than $250,000 a year. Obama also promised that "nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have." And "if you like your health care plan," he said more than once, "you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Strictly speaking, that's correct. But left unsaid was the fact that lawmakers placed provisions in the law that will give companies incentives to drop workers from employer-sponsored medical plans. "Some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their — and their employees' — advantage to end their plans," Foster wrote in his April 22 report. The actuary estimates that the law "would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million."...more

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