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CMS Study Shows Health Care Law Increases Costs–$311 Billion In 10 Years

US Senate Morning Briefing

Last night, the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released his long-awaited report on the Democrats’ health care spending bill. The report states, “[W]e estimate that overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion during calendar years 2010-2019. . . .” This was an assessment that was requested by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell prior to the final votes on health care in the House, but CMS told Republicans that they couldn’t complete an analysis in time for the vote. Given the report’s findings, it’s easy to see why Democrats decided to rush ahead with a vote before the report could be completed.

Reporting on the CMS analysis last night, the AP wrote, “President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will increase the nation’s health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation. A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama’s aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls. But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15 percent of hospitals into the red and ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.”

But in the run-up to the vote, indeed throughout the year-long debate on health care, Democrats and President Obama repeatedly insisted that their unpopular legislation would control costs and save the government money. In December, President Obama announced, “We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums. Businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) insisted at the beginning of debate in the Senate, “The Republican Leader just a few moments ago says that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false.” And Democrats repeatedly cited a CBO report saying that if all the Medicare cuts are implemented, the bill could save $130 billion over the next decade. This was pointed to by everyone from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to rank-and-file House Democrats like Ohio Rep. John Boccieri.

But as the AP story explains, “The [CMS] report acknowledged that some of the cost-control measures in the bill — Medicare cuts, a tax on high-cost insurance and a commission to seek ongoing Medicare savings — could help reduce the rate of cost increases beyond 2020. But it held out little hope for progress in the first decade. ‘During 2010-2019, however, these effects would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage,’ wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary. ‘Also, the longer-term viability of the Medicare … reductions is doubtful.’”

As Sen. McConnell said when President Obama signed the health care bill, “Most Americans out there aren’t celebrating today. . . . People oppose this bill not because they don’t know what’s in it, but because they know exactly what’s in it. . . . They know you don’t have to slash Medicare by half a trillion dollars to get lower premiums. . . . People know you won’t save money on health care by spending another $2.6 trillion on health care. . . . They know you don’t reduce the deficit by creating a massive new government program that even Democrats have described as a Ponzi scheme. They know you can go a long ways towards doing all these things without creating a brand new entitlement at a time when we can’t even cover the cost of the entitlements we have.”

Once again, studies by neutral observers have shown that Democrats’ claims about their health care bill just do not match reality. This was a flawed bill rushed through because Democrats wanted to “make history.” But Americans know better. At a time of record deficits and debt, this irresponsible health spending bill should be repealed and replaced with legislation that actually addresses health care costs.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

One Response to “CMS Study Shows Health Care Law Increases Costs–$311 Billion In 10 Years”

  1. Adrian says:

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, good luck 🙂

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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