Many Americans wondered why Congress was in such a rush to take the final vote on ObamaCare at midnight on a Sunday night when most of its major programs don’t begin until 2014. It’s now clear that Democratic leaders feared their members might balk if they saw the objective analysis that was being prepared showing the overhaul law’s true costs.
Their concerns were validated when a respected, non-partisan analyst issued a report one month after the law was enacted. The chief actuary for Medicare, Richard Foster, found that under ObamaCare, health spending and health costs will rise, businesses and families will face higher premiums, millions of people will lose their current coverage, and seniors will have trouble accessing care.
The analysis by the administration’s own actuary confirms why a majority of Americans opposed the legislation and why House Republicans want Foster to testify about his findings.
Foster’s analysis already has had an impact on decisions regarding one of the first programs launched under ObamaCare – the new temporary high-risk pools for the uninsured. Congress allocated $5 billion to fund the pools until 2014 when enrollees would be transferred into new health insurance exchanges.
But Foster found that the $5 billion “would be expended during the first 1 to 3 calendar years of operation.” That means states could have to fill the funding void. Nineteen states told HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “No thanks” when she asked if they planned to run these new programs.
The states don’t want to be responsible for the added cost of the federal high-risk program and wisely chose to protect their taxpayers from yet another unfunded liability. As a result, HHS will now be responsible for creating and operating risk programs in these 19 states.
They wisely told Sebelius who is in charge and that they will not be subservient to Washington.
Now that Foster’s report is out, the White House spin can’t hide the fact that ObamaCare is an abject failure at achieving its number one goal: reducing health care costs. Foster’s analysis estimates that total national health spending will increase by $311 billion as a result of ObamaCare, thereby bending the cost curve up.