Friday, March 30, 2012

Controversial ObamaCare Mandate Won't Solve Problems Administration Claims It Will Fix

At IBD, "ObamaCare Mandate Won't Solve Uninsured, Health Costs":

The Obama administration told the Supreme Court this week that the Affordable Care Act's mandate that everyone buy insurance is vital to providing universal coverage and lower insurance costs. But ObamaCare won't solve either problem, as government reports show.

Despite the mandate, there will still be 27 million uninsured a decade from now, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The promised uninsured rate — 10% in 2022 — isn't much better than in 1980, when it was 12%, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

The law also tries to cut the uninsured population by making it illegal for insurers to deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, called "guaranteed issue.

But fewer than 4% cited poor health as a reason for not getting coverage, according to the CBO. Meanwhile, 71% cited the high cost of premiums.

To the extent that poor health puts insurance premiums out of reach, ObamaCare's "community rating" reform could help, since it bars insurance companies from basing premiums on health status. Nevertheless, it will still leave millions without coverage.

Premiums Won't Come Down

The administration also told the Court that the individual mandate will cut insurance costs by eliminating cost-shifting — where uninsured force others to pay for their care. But it appears that, even if the law does reduce cost shifting, the mandate will not result in lower premiums.

A number of reports suggest that, at best, the Affordable Care Act will keep premiums the same, while others say it could actually push them higher than they would otherwise be.

A recent CBO report, for example, says that premiums over the next 10 years will rise at a faster rate than they have for the past five...
At the video, "When Asked Where the Constitution Authorizes Congress to Order Americans To Buy Health Insurance, Pelosi Says: 'Are You Serious?'" (via Legal Insurrection).