Obamacare’s Disappearing Health Care “Savings”
It’s that time of year again. It’s time for me to select next year’s company-provided health insurance coverage for me and my wife. Last year, I reported an 11% increase in my health insurance premiums for 2011 compared to the costs in 2010. Well, they’re going up again, this time roughly 13%. All thanks to Obama and the Democrats.
Per ABC News, Obama said the following back in the day:
On May 3, 2008, the president told voters that he had “a health care plan that would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums.”
A study was done proving Obamacare was a factor in the increase in health insurance premium costs. So where are these mystical savings?
White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle insists families will see that savings — by 2019.
“Many of the changes in the Affordable Care Act are starting this year, and in succeeding years,” DeParle told ABC News, “and by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”
DeParle said that the “big increases that occurred last year were probably driven by insurance plans overestimating what the impact would be and maybe trying to take some profits upfront before some of the changes in the Affordable Care Act occur.
There are a couple of things to flesh out here. First, and translating from the double-speak of the last part of DeParle’s quote, greedy insurance companies are trying to stick it to their customers before the people can see the magical value of Obamacare. What DeParle is saying is BS and it’s easy to prove that it’s BS: the average profit margins of 1300 health insurance providers was roughly 3.4% in 2009, hardly anything to write home about. In order to maintain any kind of profit margin after Obamacare added to the coverage these providers are required to support, the premiums have to increase (I would imagine there is cost-cutting as well).
Second, we lost $500 in savings from what Obama said three years ago; per DeParle, the so-called yearly savings are now $2000 instead of the $2500 Obama promised. Of course, the quote from Obama didn’t say when we’d see that $2500 savings; it could be in 2119 for all we know (in which case, Obama is correct since we’d all be dead and not worrying about increasing health insurance premiums). So where did that $500 go? As far as I can tell, it never existed.
Remember in government double-speak, reduced spending increases are referred to as spending cuts. Per Democratic double-speak regarding Porkulus, we’ve been told by Democrats that the unemployment rate would have been a lot higher without it, although there is absolutely no way this can be proven (as I mentioned here, the Oracle of Delphi had a better track record of predicting things than Democrats). With this in mind, here’s what I think Obama and his obfuscating administration are saying: we’ll see the $2000 or $2500 per year savings at some point, but not until health insurance costs increase far beyond those numbers.
In other words, we may eventually see the government double-speak definition of a spending cut, reduced personal health care cost increases. By 2019. Or something.
Cross-posted at Scipio the Metalcon.