John Locke Update / Research Newsletter (Archive)

Still Overselling ObamaCare

posted on in Health Care

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In selling ObamaCare, the Professional Left has given up on everything they promised to get the law passed. No more should they claim that ObamaCare "will reduce costs and the deficit," according to a presentation last week reported in Politico. Instead, advocates are being told to focus on the need to improve the law, usually with even more government intervention.

"It is critical," one slide says, "to reassure seniors that Medicare will not be cut," even though the Medicare actuary says it will.

They suggest falsely blaming the uninsured instead of Medicaid recipients for overusing emergency rooms: "Those who choose not to have insurance and use the emergency room for routine care are increasing costs for the rest of us who have insurance."

Finally, they make a claim "that an unprecedented number of new healthcare providers are being trained." The problem remains that there are not nearly enough trainees to meet the increased demand that will result from ObamaCare’s coverage expansions.

And these are some of the suggestions to avoid grand claims and build confidence!

Don’t blame Blue Cross

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is passing along the compliance costs of the new health care law. The state’s largest health insurer has already set plans to cut costs 20 percent by 2014, including layoffs of up to 90 employees by May 2011. Now CEO Brad Wilson is seeking an average rate increase of 6.97 percent, the lowest proposed increase since 2007.

Wait … lowest?

Yes, lowest. While critics will continue to castigate insurance companies for any rate increases and surpluses, the dread pirate Wilson and his band of marauders have responded to their subscribers’ reduced demand for health care services by keeping their rate increases down. Those with health savings accounts face an average increase of just 2 percent. Some populations will see significant premium increases, but others will see significant premium reductions.

So Blue Cross illustrates again that corporations often put the burden of regulation and taxation on their workers instead of their customers. Other insurers across the country are taking the same approach. Assurant Health in Wisconsin plans to eliminate 130 jobs by Oct. 1 to comply with an ObamaCare mandate that 80 percent of premiums go to medical care.


As Senior Fellow, Joe examines fiscal and tax policy. He previously headed the North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform initiative within the Office of State Budget and Management, which led to changes in automotive fleet management, natural and… ...

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