Surprise: Americans' Health Care Costs Expected To Rise in 2012

Posted: May 19, 2011 10:23 AM

But...I thought Obamacare, "front-loaded" with wondrous benefits, was going to lower premiums and bend the healthcare cost curve down.  The joke's on us:

U.S. employers can expect an 8.5 percent increase in their medical costs next year due in some part to the healthcare reform law, the consulting firm PwC said in a report Wednesday.   The widely read annual report on cost trends points to three main drivers of healthcare costs, two of which are exacerbated by the new law.

At the same time, PwC said the law will have a "minimal effect" on 2012 prices because the provisions that go into effect before 2014 are "small changes for which employers already have fully accounted."  Still, the consulting firm said employers will have to work with health insurers and providers to ensure better care and pricing as the law is implemented further.

Got that?  Healthcare costs aren't rising despite Obamacare; they're rising because of Obamacare.  None of this unpleasant news comes as a surprise to those of us who were paying attention during the great healthcare debate of 2009 and 2010.   Now, as all these delightful reports roll in, perhaps some of the 38 percent of Americans who oppose repeal may begin to entertain some second thoughts.  Remember, folks:  The most unappealing elements of this law -- tax hikes, costly subsidies, Medicaid expansion, mandate enforcement, non-compliance penalties, etc. -- haven't even kicked in yet.