Will I pay less for health insurance and medical care?



PRO (yes)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in their Apr. 22, 2010 memorandum "Estimated Financial Effects of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' as Amended," issued by CMS Chief Actuary Richard Foster, provided the following:

"Based on the net impact of (i) the substantial coverage expansions, (ii) the significant cost-sharing subsidies for low-to-middle-income persons, (iii) the maximum out-of-pocket limitations associated with the qualified health benefit, and (iv) the increases in workers' cost-sharing obligations in plans affected by the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, we estimate that overall out-of-pocket spending would be reduced significantly by the PPACA (a net total decline of $237 billion in calendar years 2010-2019)."


Apr. 22, 2010 - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 
Estimated Financial Effects of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' as Amended (298KB)  



Andrew Kurz, former Chief Financial Officer of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Wisconsin, stated the following in his Sep. 23, 2010 article "Attacks Can't Obscure Health Law's Valuable Benefits" on www.huffingtonpost.com:

"Health reform provides coverage to millions of people while correcting many current and serious defects. It isn't perfect, but it has countless positive elements being ignored by critics. One key example is Section 2718, 'Bringing down the cost of health care coverage,' which takes effect today (September 23). It brings sorely needed cost-control mechanisms while retaining health insurers' ability to innovate...

Overall, reform is fair in not penalizing efficient insurers but does put a stop to excesses and abuses of some insurers who appear far more intent on protecting their cash flows than providing services to their customers...

Section 2718 is representative of many provisions in the new law, and it illustrates that reform is right, it is needed and it will deliver major benefits to American businesses and families struggling to pay for soaring health insurance premiums."


Sep. 23, 2010 - Andrew Kurz, MBA 



The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), wrote in its Nov. 30, 2009 report "An Analysis of Health Insurance Premiums Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," available on its website www.cbo.gov:

"By CBO and JCT’s [Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate, the average premium per policy in the small group market would be in the vicinity of $7,800 for single policies and $19,200 for family policies under the proposal, compared with about $7,800 and $19,300 under current law. In the large group market, average premiums would be roughly $7,300 for single policies and $20,100 for family policies under the proposal, compared with about $7,400 and $20,300 under current law... Those figures do not include the effects of the small business tax credit on the cost of purchasing insurance... The reductions in premiums described above also exclude the effects of the excise tax on high-premium insurance policies offered through employers...

CBO and JCT estimate that the elements of the legislation that would change the price of providing a given amount of coverage for a given population would, on net, reduce the average premium per person for nongroup coverage in 2016 by about 7 percent to 10 percent relative to the amount under current law. Those elements of the legislation would reduce the average premium per person in the small group market by about 1 percent to 4 percent and would not have a measurable impact on premiums in the large group market..."

[Editor's Note: The CBO website says that this Nov. 2009 report "analyzed the effects on health insurance premiums of an earlier version of the legislation... Although CBO and JCT have not updated those estimates, the effects of the enacted legislation are expected to be quite similar."]

[Editors Note:  In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872), and Executive Order 13535 which restricted federal funds from being used for abortion services. Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con positions made prior to the final wording of these three elements of the health care reform legislation may have changed since March 2010.]


Nov. 30, 2009 - Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 
An Analysis of Health Insurance Premiums under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (691KB)  



The Center for American Progress (CAP), wrote in its May 2010 issue brief "The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending" available on www.americanprogress.org:

"We estimate that, on net, the combination of provisions in the new law will... lower premiums by nearly $2,000 per family...

Without reform, premiums are expected to increase from $13,305 in 2010 to $21,458 in 2019. Relative to this increase, premiums under reform increase only three-quarters as much. By 2019, family premiums are nearly $2,000 lower. Adding reductions in out-of-pocket costs and lower taxes for Medicare and Medicaid will result in estimated savings for the typical family of over $2,500 that year."


May 2010 - Center for American Progress (CAP) 



Kathleen Sebelius, MPA, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, stated in her speech "Health Reform and You: How the New Law Will Increase Your Health Security" delivered at the National Press Club on Apr. 5, 2010, available on www.hhs.gov:

"...[T]his law is... the biggest middle class tax cut for health care in American history; the most aggressive health care cost-cutting law we've ever had... [I]t starts to bring down costs for families, businesses, and governments with the broadest health care cost-cutting package ever..."


Apr. 5, 2010 - Kathleen Sebelius, MPA 



Jim McDermott, MD, US Representative (D-WA), wrote in his May 29, 2010 Fresno Bee article "Two Views on Health Care: Legislation Contains Cost-Cutting Measures":

"What the bill will do is ensure that people's premiums won't skyrocket as they have been over the past decade and will keep premiums much lower than they would have been without reform... While it's still too soon to say whether this legislation will slow the increase in health insurance premiums so that they more closely align with inflation, we included every approach suggested by leading economists in hopes of doing just that.

Many middle-class families are already seeing how the legislation can help their pocketbooks: One of the most significant provisions that has taken effect allows parents to keep their children on their insurance until the age of 26 so that they won't have to buy more expensive coverage on their own."


May 29, 2010 - Jim McDermott, MD 



The Democratic Policy Committee (DPC), wrote in its report "Making Coverage Affordable" on its website www.dpc.senate.gov (accessed May 26, 2010):

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act will lower costs, improve choices and competition and offer assistance to ensure that Americans can afford health insurance...

  • Places a cap on what insurance companies can require individuals to pay in out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays and deductibles. This will ensure that Americans are not forced to file bankruptcy due to high health care costs.
  • Eliminates lifetime limits on how much insurance companies cover if you get sick and regulates plans' use of annual coverage limits until 2014, when they are prohibited...
  • Effective 2014, premium assistance tax credits will limit the amount an individual spends on their health care premium for the essential benefits package...
  • Provides credits to reduce the amount of cost-sharing for lower-income individuals...
  • Insurers will be required to publicly disclose the amount of any premium increase prior to the increase taking effect, and to provide a justification for the increase. This will limit the industry's current practice of hiking up insurance rates in order to push less healthy individuals and small businesses off their rolls.
  • A health insurer's participation in the Exchanges will depend on its performance. Insurers that jack up their premiums before the Exchanges begin will be excluded – a powerful incentive to keep premiums affordable...
  • Starting January 1, 2011, Americans will receive a rebate if their health insurer's non-medical costs exceed 15 percent of premium costs in the group market or 20 percent in the small group and individual market."

May 26, 2010 - Making Coverage Affordable (138KB)  
Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) 



RAND Corporation, wrote in its report "RAND Analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590)," published Feb. 16, 2010 on its website www.randcompare.org:

"We estimate that insurance premiums in the large group (employer) market would decrease under H.R. 3590. In 2019, with the policy change, the average individual premium in the employer market would be $7,837, compared with $8,011 in the status quo projection. The reduction in premiums comes from a change in the composition of the people purchasing insurance in the employer market...

Unsubsidized premiums in the most common Exchange plans are projected to be 3.7% lower than status quo average nongroup premiums because of a combination of changes in the benefit packages being purchased, lower administrative costs, and changes in the composition of the population purchasing insurance in this market."

[Editors Note:  In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872), and Executive Order 13535 which restricted federal funds from being used for abortion services. Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con positions made prior to the final wording of these three elements of the health care reform legislation may have changed since March 2010.]


Feb. 16, 2010 - RAND Corporation 



CON (no)

The Wall Street Journal stated the following in its Jan. 20, 2011 editorial, "The Repeal Vote," available at online.wsj.com:

"[S]pin can't overcome the reality of premium increases and other damage in the insurance market that consumers can see in their own paychecks and that will only grow. Recall that reform was sold as a way to control costs and increase consumer choice. But underlying medical costs continue to climb, carrying premiums aloft in tandem. Even a nonprofit insurer like Blue Shield of California, a reliable lobbyist for progressive causes, says it must raise rates by as much as 59%, in part to comply with ObamaCare's mandates."


Jan. 20, 2011 - Wall Street Journal 



Lisa Murkowski, JD, US Senator (R-AK), wrote in her May 18, 2010 op-ed "New Health Care Law Will Increase Costs, Reduce Benefits," available on her website murkowski.senate.gov:

"Throughout the year-long debate over health care reform, President Obama promised that the legislation would reduce the spiraling cost of health care and that if you liked your health care plan, you could keep it. But a couple of new government reports confirm what many of us who opposed a federal takeover of the health care system feared all along - higher costs, less access and unsustainable spending...

CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] says that the health care law will impose billions of dollars in annual fees on manufacturers and importers of brand-name prescription drugs and on health insurance plans, and new taxes on medical device sales. CMS said it anticipates that these new fees and taxes will be passed down to consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher insurance premiums, raising health care costs from $2.1 billion in 2011 to $18.2 billion in 2018.

Throughout the health care debate, Americans were told the Democrats' health care reform measure would make premiums more affordable; instead, as the President's own actuary at CMS confirms, Americans will face higher premiums, more job-killing taxes and additional layers of new government bureaucracy."


May 18, 2010 - Lisa Murkowski, JD 



Grace Marie Turner, President and Founder of the Galen Institute, a public policy research organization promoting debate on free-market ideas for health reform, wrote in her May 26, 2010 Centre Daily Times article "Health Care: Consumers, Businesses, Will Face Financial Ruin":

"Americans consistently said controlling health costs was their top priority for health reform. But Washington didn't listen, and independent experts now say the new health law actually will drive up the cost of health care and insurance premiums...

The chief actuary for the administration's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Richard Foster, also predicts higher health insurance premiums for individuals and businesses.

One reason is the billions of dollars in new fees and excise taxes the law imposes that Foster says will 'generally be passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher premiums.' These include more than $20 billion in taxes on medical devices, $60 billion in taxes on health plans and $27 billion in taxes on prescription drug companies...

The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] estimates that individuals and businesses also will face at least $120 billion in fines and penalties for failing to comply with the law's new health insurance mandates. And it says families purchasing health insurance in the individual market will pay $2,100 a year more for coverage by 2016 than they would if the measure had not passed..."


May 26, 2010 - Grace Marie Turner 



The US House Committee on Ways and Means Republicans, wrote in its Apr. 26, 2010 post "Consensus Is In: Health Care Costs and Premiums to Rise Under Democrats' Health Law" on its website republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov:

"The new law will increase national health spending and will make health insurance more expensive for millions of American families. But don't take our word for it... there is the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis that health care premiums are going to rise sharply under the Democrats' new law."

Apr. 26, 2010 - US House Committee on Ways and Means Republicans 



Mark Bertolini, MBA, President of Aetna, a health insurance company covering more than 19 million individuals, was quoted in the Apr. 23, 2010 CNNMoney.com article "Insurers: Brace for Fast and Furious Costs" by Parija Kavilanz, as having said the following regarding the effect of the health care reform laws:

"The headline for everyone is that costs [of premiums] will be more. Cost will definitely go up."

Apr. 23, 2010 - Mark Bertolini, MBA 



Scott H. Richardson, Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance, was quoted in the Apr. 28, 2010 Sun News article "Consumers to Gain Coverage at a Cost," as having stated:

"We're going from a system that has various types of policies -- pre-existing conditions, annual limits, lifetime limits, that covers some things, not others -- to a system that says you can't have that... That's not going to make health insurance cheaper."

Apr. 28, 2010 - Scott H. Richardson 



Noam N. Levey, a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, wrote in his Apr. 13, 2010 Los Angeles Times article "Healthcare Overhaul Won't Stop Premium Increases":

"Public outrage over double-digit rate hikes for health insurance may have helped push President Obama's healthcare overhaul across the finish line, but the new law does not give regulators the power to block similar increases in the future.

...[W]ith some major companies already moving to boost premiums and others poised to follow suit, millions of Americans may feel an unexpected jolt in the pocketbook.

Although Democrats promised greater consumer protection, the overhaul does not give the federal government broad regulatory power to prevent increases."


Apr. 13, 2010 - Noam N. Levey 



The House Republican Conference, wrote in its June 8, 2010 article "President Obama to Skip Details in Health Care Townhall" on its website www.gop.gov:

"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted that early retirees, the self-employed, small business workers, and millions of others who buy family coverage in the individual market will pay $2,100 more for their health insurance under ObamaCare.

President Obama's chief actuary [Richard Foster, Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)] concludes that taxes on medical devices, pharmaceutical companies, and health insurance companies will be passed on to health insurance buyers in the form of higher premiums."

[Editor's Note: The CBO's analysis states that the average premium for family coverage in the individual (nongroup) market will be an estimated $15,200 under the new health law as opposed to $13,100 under pre-health reform policies, a $2,100 difference. The report states the cost increase is because "the average number of people covered per family policy is estimated to increase” and that the $15,200 estimate does not account for the new federal health care subsidies which will help about 57% of people enrolled in the nongroup market save 56% to 59% on their premiums under the new health law than under pre-health reform policies.]


June 8, 2010 - House Republican Conference 



Lewin Group, a health care and human services consulting firm owned by UnitedHealth Group, wrote in its Feb. 2010 publication "Comparing the House and Senate Health Reform Bills: Long Term Costs for Governments, Employers, Families and Providers" provided on its website lewin.com:

Changes in Average Family Health Spending by Income Assuming Full Implementation in 2011


[Editor's Note: This study does not include the impact of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872) (283 KB) , which was signed into law a week after the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and made health-related financing and revenue changes to HR 3590.]

[Editors Note:  In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872), and Executive Order 13535 which restricted federal funds from being used for abortion services. Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con positions made prior to the final wording of these three elements of the health care reform legislation may have changed since March 2010.]


Feb. 2010 - Lewin Group