Stop me if you’ve heard this before

Last Friday, the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an office in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, sent out a detailed memo analyzing President Obama’s newly passed health care law and the results were not encouraging.

Among other things, the report suggests the new law will lead to higher costs, increased spending, disastrous coverage issues, and still leave 23 million uninsured by 2019. Here are details from the report:

– Higher consumer costs: Billions in new fees and taxes on manufacturers and importers “would generally be passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher insurance premiums.”- Increased government spending: For fiscal years 2010 through 2019, “federal expenditures would increase by a net total of $251 billion” as a result of the new law. – Medicare cuts unlikely: Cuts to Medicare “could become unsustainable even within the next 10 years, and over time the reductions in the scope of employer-sponsored health insurance could also become an issue.” – Coverage but trouble getting care: Increased demand for health services “could be difficult to meet initially with existing health provider resources and could lead to price increases, cost-shifting, and/or changes in providers’ willingness to treat patients with low reimbursement health coverage.” – Tens of millions still uninsured: In 2019, the report estimates 23 million people will be uninsured, 5 million of which will be illegals. The remaining 18 million will simply choose to pay the fine rather than get coverage.

Repeal and replace, anyone?

– James Quintero