Tag Archives: Congressional Budget Office

ObamaCare fallout: As premiums rise, so does cost to taxpayers

Going as planned.

obamacare2

From Fox News: The Obama administration is trying to calm the panic over soaring ObamaCare premiums by pointing to subsidies many will receive to offset the cost — but analysts and GOP lawmakers counter that those subsidies nevertheless will stick taxpayers with a rising bill. 

With enrollment set to begin Nov. 1, the administration announced Monday that premiums are set rise an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market. Some states, such as Arizona, will see premiums jump by as much as 116 percent.

Department of Health and Human Services officials are stressing that subsidies provided under the law, which are designed to rise alongside premiums, will insulate most customers from sticker shock.

But the rising cost of subsidies, which already totals tens of billions a year, would be passed on to the taxpayer.

“Taxpayers are already in for a lot,” Tom Miller, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told FoxNews.com. “The cost doesn’t go away, it just goes into someone else’s pocket.”

In a March report, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that subsidies given to enrollees in 2016 would amount to $43 billion in 2016, and predicted the cost would rise to $106 billion by 2026. It also said that over 10 years, ObamaCare provisions would reduce the deficit thanks to tax provisions and cuts to Medicare. That was before the latest announcement by the administration. It’s unclear how exactly the looming premium hikes will affect that picture, though Republicans are now seeking new estimates.

Analysts say it’s safe to assume taxpayer costs will rise. Miller noted that HHS reported an average subsidy of $291 per month in 2016. A 25 percent increase in premiums would theoretically translate into an extra $73 per month, or about $870 a year per person.

you don't say

“If you assume conservatively that there’s 10 million people getting subsidies, that’s an extra $8.5 billion in extra costs taxpayers are getting hit by going into next year,” he said.

Other experts warned this is likely to continue as long as premiums keep rising. “Its real simple, premiums are going up and up, and subsidies are going to go up with them,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and a former CBO director, told FoxNews.com.

The Department for Health and Human Services, when asked for comment by FoxNews.com, noted that the law’s coverage provisions are set to cost 28 percent less in 2019 than the CBO originally projected, amounting to about $49 billion less than originally predicted when the law was signed in 2010. A spokesman also said the same office predicted that repealing the law would increase the deficit by approximately $350 billion over 10 years.

Holtz-Eakin urged caution on the administration’s analysis. “It’s been a mixed pattern, because the enrollments haven’t been what they expected so it hasn’t been as big of an impact financially,” he said. “The bad news is that spending per person is much higher than anticipated due to subsidy increases because of premium hikes.”

Obama signs Obamacare bill

One of the biggest ObamaCare costs to taxpayers has been absorbed into the Medicaid budget, paid for by both state and federal governments. As a sweetener to get states to go along with the plan, the federal government offered to pick up the cost of expanding Medicaid eligibility up to 133 percent of the poverty line. That siphoned low income — and expensive – customers away from ObamaCare exchanges, seemingly contributing to its current solvency. But that cost – in the hundreds of billions — also is borne by taxpayers.

The CBO projected in 2013 that, in part due to ObamaCare, federal Medicaid spending would more than double over the next 10 years, topping $554 billion by 2023. State governments pay another $160 billion toward Medicaid. “Volume has been greater in Medicaid, and per person costs have been much higher than expected,” Edmund Haislmaier, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told FoxNews.com.

Sensing a spike in taxpayer costs, the Republican-led House Committee on Energy and Commerce has written to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services demanding how much taxpayer money will be spent subsidizing the cost of rising premiums.

“While the Administration continues to focus on premium ‘affordability,’ it ignores the undeniable fact that federal taxpayers are subsidizing these premium increases through tax credits,” the letter from Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., says. “The Committee is concerned that the federal taxpayer continues to bear the burden of subsidizing the growing cost of health care insurance.”

The committee is demanding estimates of the amount of money spent covering rising premiums by Nov. 7.

obamacare

DCG

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Rising Obamacare premiums anger those paying full price

We tried to warn you.

electionshaveconsequences

From CNN Money: Shela Bryan, 63, has been comparing prices for individual health insurance plans since May, and she can’t believe what she sees. “They cost a thousand, $1,200 [a month], and they have a deductible of $6,000,” she said. “I don’t know how they think anyone can afford that.”

Bryan, who lives in Hull, Georgia, a hamlet of about 200 residents near Athens, was on her husband Tony’s insurance plan for decades. When Tony died in 2013, she continued his workplace coverage through COBRA, and she had to pay almost the full price of the insurance — about $800 a month. That was high, but it was “the Cadillac of insurance,” Bryan said, with low copays, prescription drug coverage and a $500 deductible. That option will run out in a few months.

Obamacare Screw U

So she is turning to the individual insurance marketplace in what is shaping up to be the most expensive year for the 400,000 or so consumers in Georgia who buy individual policies but don’t purchase them on the Obamacare exchanges.

About 10 million Americans buy individual insurance coverage either on or off the exchanges and get no federal subsidies to help bring down the cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office. About the same number get the financial assistance for the plans they purchase on the exchanges.

“For those receiving subsidies, the subsidy protects them against the increase. If they’re not eligible, they’ll be paying a lot more. And the more premiums go up, the higher the cliff,” said William Custer, a health policy and insurance expert at Georgia State University.

In Georgia, consumers who don’t get insurance through their employers or don’t qualify for tax credits to help pay for policies they purchase are facing double-digit premium increases. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the only insurer offering plans throughout the state, received an increase of more than 21% from the state insurance commissioner. Humana was awarded a 67.5% hike.

Numbers like those are rattling other states too. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was granted a 62% rate hike, while state officials approved a 46% increase for Cigna. Florida authorities gave plans there an average 19% bump. And last week, Minnesota officials announced that premiums for the seven insurers on the individual market are rising 50% to 67%.

The insurers are now adjusting for some miscalculations, said Graham Thompson, executive director of the Georgia Association of Health Plans. “The prices are up this year, but our hope is that things will settle down after this year,” he said.

While consumers have faced sticker shock, the insurers have faced what might be called “sicker shock,” which has sent their prices spiraling. They are adjusting premiums after finding that the pool of clients buying plans on the individual market were sicker and more costly than expected when the health law was implemented.

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

Almost two-thirds of Americans get their coverage from plans offered through their workplaces. But those who don’t can buy either on or outside the health law’s marketplaces, also called exchanges. Those with marketplace coverage who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty level — $47,520 for an individual — are entitled to a subsidy, and federal officials say most will pay less than $75 a month for insurance.

Policies sold off the marketplaces must still meet health law standards and the same prices as plans offered on the exchange, according to Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Federal and Georgia officials note that customers can change plans each year to find a better price, but that also can result in higher deductibles and may force a change in doctors to stay in network.

Bryan, a maintenance supervisor who makes just over the $47,520 limit for a subsidy, finds herself in that market now. She could end up paying as much as $14,000 in premiums for a pared-back policy the likes of which she had never imagined, she said, with no coverage for her asthma and high blood pressure medications. The cheapest policies amount to more than a quarter of her yearly income, or double her mortgage, she noted.  That total package would increase her premiums $4,400 over what she is paying for her COBRA plan and raise her deductibles by $5,800. And that was based on 2016 premium prices.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that as many as 2.5 million nationally may be eligible for a subsidy and not know it.

Bob Laszewski

Bob Laszewski

Bob Laszewski, a health policy strategist in Washington, D.C., said the Obama administration and health care advocates need to listen to the complaints of the those who do not receive assistance.

“These people are invisible,” Laszewski said. The ACA “is working very well for lower income people, but the Obamacare supporters missed the fact that if you’re raising a family of four on $100,000, you’re not rich. This is the … guy who remodeled your house, who drives a pickup truck and he’s wearing a Trump hat.”

insult-my-intelligence

DCG

Obamacare is disincentive to work; will decrease workforce by 2.5M

inflatable poop

Yet more evidence that Obamacare is a giant piece of turd.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just crunched its numbers on the disastrous economic impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better and more accurately known as Obamacare. Human nature being what it is — selfish and self-interested — Americans are expected to reduce the number of their work hours so that they’ll qualify for Obamacare subsidies. In other words, Obamacare is a disincentive to work.

The CBO estimates the result will be 2.5 million fewer workers by the year 2024. Fewer people working, in turn, means:

  • Less tax revenue for the government
  • More government spending on “entitlements” welfare
  • More government deficits and higher national debt
  • Higher taxes on those who still work and pay income taxes

Here are excerpts from the CBO’s report, “Appendix C: Labor Market Effects of the Affordable Care Act: Updated Estimates“:

The ACA’s largest impact on labor markets will probably occur after 2016, once its major provisions have taken full effect and overall economic output nears its maximum sustainable level. CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less laborgiven the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.

reduced incentives to work attributable to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)with most of the impact arising from new subsidies for health insurance purchased through exchanges—will have a larger negative effect on participation toward the end of that period.

The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5  million in 2024. Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the ACA.

The number of people who will receive exchange subsidies—and who thus will face an implicit tax from the phaseout of those subsidies that discourages them from workingwill be smaller initially than it will be in later years. The number of enrollees (workers and their dependents) purchasing their own coverage through the exchanges is projected to rise from about 6 million in 2014 to about 25 million in 2017 and later years, and most of those enrollees will receive subsidies. Although the number of people who will be eligible for exchange subsidies is similar from year to year, workers who are eligible but do not enroll may either be unaware of their eligibility or be unaffected by it and thus are unlikely to change their supply of labor in response to the availability of those subsidies.

CBO’s estimate that the ACA will reduce aggregate labor compensation in the economy by about 1 percent over the 2017–2024 period—compared with what would have occurred in the absence of the act—is substantially larger than the estimate the agency issued in August 2010.

H/t ZeroHedge

~Eowyn

Medicare cuts benefits to pay for Obamacare

tohurt

Dr. Laurie Roth is a political commentator and host of the nationally syndicated political talk show, The Roth Show. Roth has a Ph.D. in counseling; she is not an M.D.

On Feb. 21, 2013, NewsWithViews published an essay of Roth’s with the alarming title “Obamacare is a Killing Machine and Millions Will Die.” Here are excerpts:

This week I gasped in horror when I learned that Obama care had ordered Medicare to cut reimbursement for 4 million diabetic seniors by 66%. It also reduced all the companies that were supplying blood sugar monitoring supplies from 1000 to 15. I also learned via the research of Elizabeth Vliet M.D. that one of her 80 year old patients was told he was not covered anymore by Medicare when he went to the pharmacy so couldn’t get his medication. His choice was to pay cash or die.

Pause for a second and snap out of being mildly annoyed and grow a backbone and a few fangs over this. Just with Diabetic and Heart patients alone you are talking many millions of people, mostly seniors with coverage simply cut off or largely cut back — setting them up to die. That is unless they are millionaires and can afford expensive medication out of pocket. This is called as in the days of Nazi Germany, targeting a group of people for extermination and murdering them.

Millions will suffer and many will die just representing the pull back of coverage with Diabetic and Heart disease patients. Think about all the other diseases and seniors represented with dramatic or total cut backs by Medicare. Just as in Britain’s socialized medicine now, state-of-the-art drugs will be denied for all kinds of common cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and others.

Medicare is cutting reimbursements to diabetics by as much as 66%? Elderly people are told their prescription meds are no longer covered by Medicare?

Those are very alarming assertions, but Roth provided no sources for her claims. So I scoured the Internet to look for confirmation of the claims.

There is a Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, M.D., who founded the Hormone Health Strategies medical practices in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX. Here’s her web-site. For Dr. Vliet’s op-eds on Obamacare, go here. But I cannot find any writing of Vliet’s about her 80-year-0ld patient being denied Medicare coverage for his medication.

What I did find is an article by Dr. Susan Berry for Breitbart.com, Feb. 20, 2013, on recently-announced Medicare cuts to fund Obamacare. Here are excerpts:

During the 2012 election campaign, Democrats denied that ObamaCare made $716 billion in cuts to Medicare in order to provide funding toward $1.9 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next ten years.

In an announcement on Friday, however, the Obama administration revealed that it would be significantly reducing funding for Medicare, a move that one health insurance analyst said “would turn almost every plan in the industry unprofitable.”

Health insurance stocks tumbled following the announcement that a big chunk of the Medicare cuts would come from the popular Medicare Advantage program, a market-oriented system in which participants can choose coverage by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide all Part A and Part B benefits.

According to health care analyst Carl McDonald, the new rates proposed by the Obama administration will have the net effect of reducing payments to Medicare Advantage plans by 7% to 8% in 2014. […] According to Richard Foster, former chief actuary to the Medicare program, ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage will likely force half of its current participants back into the old Medicare program, originated in 1965. It is estimated that this change will cost Medicare enrollees an average of $3,714 in 2017 alone.

Democrats have long been unfriendly toward the Medicare Advantage plan, which was passed as part of the Balanced Budget Amendment of 1997 and has seen tremendous growth over the past 10 years. Today, more than 25 percent of seniors receive their health benefits through Medicare Advantage.

[…] The administration’s proposal is open to outside comments until March 1st, ahead of the final announcement of the cuts on April 1st.

What I do know is that in 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated that Obamacare (or the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act) will require more than $1.7 trillion in gross federal spending over the period 2012–2022, some of which will be offset by penalties and tax increases related to coverage, resulting in net spending of more than $1.2 trillion for the insurance portion of the bill.

That net federal spending of more than $1.2 trillion will have to come from somewhere. That somewhere includes Medicare.

Elections have consequences.

I hope all those currently receiving Medicare — 40 million people age 65 and older, and 8 million younger people who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments — who had voted for the POS last November, are happy.

H/t FOTM reader Joan W.

~Eowyn

Since Obamacare’s Passage, Millions Have Lost Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Well done skippy. What a Putz.  Steve

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he makes my head hurt. Oy Vey..

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4:42 PM, Nov 11, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

Throughout the Obamacare debate, President Obama repeatedly promised, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Now, Gallup reports that from the first quarter of 2010 (when Obama signed Obamacare into law) to the third quarter of this year, 2 percent of American adults lost their employer sponsored health insurance. In other words, about 4.5 million Americans lost their employer-sponsored insurance over a span of just 18 months.

This is not what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had predicted would happen. Rather, the CBO had predicted that Obamacare would increase the number of people with employer-sponsored insurance by now. It had predicted that, under Obamacare, 6 million more Americans would have employer-sponsored insurance in 2011 than in 2010 (see table 4, which shows the CBO’s projected increase of 3 million under (pre-Obamacare) current law and an additional 3 million under Obamacare). So the CBO’s rosy projections for Obamacare (and even these paint a frightening picture) are already proving false.

For rest of story Pls Go HERE

Memo to Occupy Wall St: Obama’s Your Man!

This guy gets it.

Seen at an Occupy protest in Jersey City yesterday:

[Source: UK’s Daily Mail]

After the 2008 $700 billion bailout of the fat cats of Wall Street — which increased the U.S. federal debt ceiling to $11.3 trillion from  $10.6 trillion — the Obama administration supported a second bailout of Wall Street  even bigger than what Congress wanted — than the bailout already approved by the House, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act., sponsored by those two fat-cats-loving Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

The Obama administration wanted the Federal Reserve to have unlimited amounts of money in the form of “loans” to failing businesses deemed to be friends of the Fed and “too big to fail.” The House bill contains an authorization for the Federal Reserve for $4 trillion in “secured loans” to bailout individuals, partnerships or corporations in financial distress. See page 506 of the House passed bill. [Source: Big Government, April 21, 2010]

I’ll write more on that $4 trillion in a future post.

On April 21, 2010, the Congressional Budget Office released a cost-estimate of enacting the legislation. The CBO admitted it “has not determined whether the estimated costs under the Act would be smaller or larger than the costs of alternative approaches to addressing future financial crises and the risks they pose to the economy as a whole.”

Despite that, Obama signed the second Wall St. bailout act into law on July 21, 2010.

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece speculated that the law would make it more expensive for startups to raise capital and create new jobs.

~Eowyn

Obama’s Economic Advisor Thinks America is “Pretty Darn F*cked”

Christina Romer, 52, was appointed by Barry Soetoro to be the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. After she [social]engineered Obama’s and the Democratic Congress’ “job-creating” stimulus package, she quit and returned to being Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics (an endowed chair) at the University of California, Berkeley.

The stimulus ended up decidedly unstimulating to the US economy. Instead, according to none other than the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus cost the federal government another $787 billion in deficits.

Last Friday Night, August 5, 2011, Romer decided she’s now a comedienne and used the crashing U.S. economy — that she had a hand in crashing — as her “ha ha” act.

Appearing on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”, Romer said that the S&P credit downgrade was a sign that the country is “pretty darn fucked.” (at the 0:29 mark)

At which, the audience laughed and laughed, and Romer’s fat face scrunched up in a big smile — ’cause, you know, it’s just so darn funny that America our country is in such economic dire straits! Yuck, Yuck! Hardy har har!

Then Romer says, “Policy would be better if we listened to the experts” such as herself.

When foul-mouthed Maher lashes out at Romer for her dogged defense of the president, saying to her, “Fuck you! He fucked up. He’s not your boyfriend,” Romer defends Skippy: “He made lots of good decisions, and they were based on science, they were based on the evidence, they were based on the best evidence that he had.”

Then Romer declares that the problem with the stimulus is that “it should have been even bigger” and recommends a second even bigger stimulus.

Einstein was right. Truly, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

H/t Daily Caller, via Uncoverage.

~Eowyn