A major new report confirms the worst fears of many: Health care reform will raise the costs for most Americans—by about 18% on average. That is on top of existing inflation of health coverage.
When combined with existing inflation, costs would rise from today’s $12,300 annual average to $25,900. Of that 111% increase, $9,600 is due to existing factors uncorrected by the legislation, and $4,000 due to additional costs created by the legislation.
For single persons, the differential is projected at $1,500 a year. Premiums would rise from today’s $4,600 a year to $9,600 overall.
Prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), the new analysis was requested by AHIP—America’s Health Insurance Plans. It focuses on the leading plan pending in Congress, sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT), which is scheduled for a Senate Finance Committee vote on Tuesday. The PWC report can be read here.
The PWC projections track what The Heritage Foundation and many others have said about the legislation: It does not save money. It simply taxes those who have health coverage and uses the money to give care to others.
The White House is said to be livid. After all, President Obama’s claims that he makes care more affordable are exposed as a myth by the new study. Lawmakers claim the bill would “save” money, but that’s not true for those who have insurance. The only “savings” would be to those who receive government-paid health care and subsidies at the cost of higher prices for everyone else. (Even if the legislation “reduced the deficit”, it would do so by making citizens pay more, not by controlling government spending.)
Despite the enormous costs, estimates say 25-million people would remain uninsured under the Baucus bill. The new study also criticizes the Baucus plan for not placing tougher mandates and penalties on those who do not buy health insurance, which would help spread the costs (and create new customers for insurers). PWC reports higher costs would occur due to these parts of the bill:
* Requirements to cover pre-existing conditions with guaranteed-issue insurance
* The new tax created on so-called “high cost” health care plans
* The new taxes on medical devices and other segments of health care
* Reduction in Medicare payments, which care providers would offset by raising rates on their other patients.
The report will be denounced as a political attack by the insurance industry. But the real attack is Washington’s assault on our pocketbooks and our freedoms.