President Barack Obama hit a huge one out of the ball park, all the way downtown, and right into taxpayers’ purses/wallets. A new study projects the U.S. will spend $2.6 trillion, yes trillion, less on Obamacare than the president anticipated.
After a near-disastrous start with a misfiring website, the president’s Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] erred in the taxpayers’ favor. The new study found the Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS] way overestimated the national cost over a five-year period. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the study, which the Urban Institute conducted.
According to the Washington Post, Senior advisor for the foundation Katherine Hempstead said:
‘When CMS originally made those projections, they really thought the slowdown in health-care spending [growth] was mostly due to the recession, and afterward we’d see a return to the higher rates of spending growth — and that didn’t really happen.’
Originally, Obamacare was intended to be a single-payer system, but in order to get the law passed, the Democrats had to negotiate with the Republicans, who insisted that the profit-based insurance companies sit between the healthcare plan and the people [privatization]. That means insurance companies can still raise their fees.
In 2013, a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that a sluggish economy was responsible for 75 percent of the healthcare slow down. One vice president of Kaiser, Larry Levitt, wrote in an email:
‘The hangover from the Great Recession has had significant effects on consumer spending in general, and health spending specifically.’
‘[The Affordable Care Act] Has clearly had a large and direct effect on slowing down health spending in Medicare. Its effect on the rest of the health system is somewhat more speculative, but I believe it’s real.’
One negative outcome of Obamacare is that people with high-deductible health plans tend to just avoid getting healthcare altogether. On the other hand, one positive result of Obamacare is that hospital readmission rates have fallen dramatically. Readmissions to a hospital mean more expense and worse healthcare.
H/T: Washington Post.