The Health Care Cost Curve Conundrum

The HHS says the bill will increase health care costs

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Throwing a wet rag on President Obama's health care bill, the Health and Human Services Department concluded that the sweeping legislation will "increase the nation's health care tab instead of bringing down costs." On top of that, cuts to Medicare could force 15 percent of hospitals into the red and "jeopardize" access for seniors. On the bright side, the report says it will achieve its goal of insuring 34 million Americans.

  • Republicans Will Jump All Over This, writes Dan Amira at New York magazine: "Cuts to Medicare 'could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, possibly jeopardizing access to care for seniors.' Expect that warning to be highlighted in Republican campaign ads airing during the Price Is Right in the coming months."
  • Let's Look at the Big Picture argues Ezra Klein at The Washington Post: "The Affordable Care Act will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by 34 million people and increase nation health expenditures by 1 percent. One percent... All in all, I think the report makes health-care reform look pretty good."
  • One Giant 'I Told You So' Moment, writes Peter Suderman at Reason: "The details vary somewhat, but cumulative picture is one that's broadly in line with what critics have been arguing since the first legislative drafts became available (at least). Rather than offer true reform for our country's health care system, ObamaCare takes a dysfunctional mess and makes it even more dysfunctional, and at greater cost."

  • When It Rains, It Pours, writes Jerry Remmers at The Moderate Voice: "The bad news coincided with a Congressional Budget Office revised estimate that 4 million Americans will be penalized for not buying health insurance as mandated in the law beginning in 2014.. This section of the overhaul legislation is being challenged in court by 13 states."
  • It Gets Worse, sighs Daniel Foster at National Review: "The report also projects that cuts in Medicare Advantage, the wildly popular market-driven alternative passed by Republicans, will drive as many of 50 percent of seniors out of their plans and into more traditional (and more insolvent) Medicare plans, while raising their out of pocket costs."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.