Less than half of those in the survey released by InsuranceQuotes.com think they'll get better health care after Obamacare takes full effect. Nearly 50 percent believe the ACA will make it more difficult for them to get tests and procedures done in a timely manner, according to the phone survey of 1,001 adult Americans conducted in early May ... In other findings of the survey, more than 60 percent of Americans said they fear Obamacare will lead to increased health-care costs. Just 26 percent predicted such costs will go down under the program, according the survey by InsuranceQuotes, which provides an online marketplace for consumers and insurers to seek and provide quotes for insurance coverage.
Less than half think the new law will improve care, and 61 percent expect Obamacare to take more money out of their pockets. Only 61 percent? The "Affordable" Care Act has already swelled health care costs at the family and federal level, with major pain on the way for many Americans who buy insurance on the individual market. So inevitable are these cost increases that liberals are beginning to argue that they're actually good news:
What’s new is that liberal columnists, facing reality, are conceding that premiums will go up for most people in the individual market. But they’re justifying it by saying that “rate shock” will help a tiny minority of people who can’t get insurance today. If they had said that in 2009, would Obamacare have passed? ... The key thing to remember is that back when Obamacare was being debated in Congress, Democrats claimed that it was right-wing nonsense that premiums would go up under Obamacare. “What we know for sure,” Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber told Ezra Klein in 2009, “is that [the bill] will lower the cost of buying non-group health insurance.” ... An argument you hear from the left is that it’s no big deal that Obamacare hikes premiums, because poor people won’t have to pay those prices; their plans will be subsidized by the government. But this is an economically and fiscally irresponsible point of view. We’re going to make health insurance unnecessarily expensive—thereby placing an extra burden on taxpayers and those ineligible for subsidies—and it’s no big deal because the government will insulate a select few from the costs?
The 2013 Medicare Trustees’ report, released today, is being hailed by Obamacare’s supporters as further evidence that the law is working. In releasing the report, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said it “demonstrates once again the importance of the Affordable Care Act.” This is nonsense. Yes, the date of insolvency for the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund was pushed back by two years, from 2024 to 2026. But this tells us very little about the real financial status of the Medicare program. Digging a little deeper, one sees that the actual state of affairs is far less rosy. For starters, Medicare’s unfunded liability remains staggering — a full $43 trillion over the infinite horizon. That’s nearly $7 trillion more than the 2010 report. Moreover, as was the case in every report from 2010 onward, Medicare’s actuaries have again told us that the real state of Medicare’s financial outlook is far worse than the official projections indicate...
Obamacare’s advocates like to create the impression that the law set in motion a number of reforms that will bring about greater efficiency in the delivery of care. There is absolutely no evidence of this. The only significant reductions to Medicare contained in Obamacare are the across-the-board provider-payment cuts. These cuts, incidentally, generally make no distinctions based on the quality of care provided to patients. They are the same in most cases no matter how well or badly the patients are treated. So the supposed improvement in the long-run financial outlook for Medicare that Obamacare’s advocates are hailing is entirely dependent on deep and unrealistic reimbursement cuts. In effect, Medicare is now going to pay providers of services a lot less to take care of Medicare patients. The law’s advocates want us to believe these cuts can be imposed without any consequences whatsoever for access or quality of care, which defies basic economics and common sense. What’s worse, these unrealistic cuts were double counted in Obamcare.
But aside from all that, everything's in terrific shape.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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