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Health care costs … “think again”  yes indeed, think again

Take a look at the following. This is a perfect example of misinformation.

For 2017 the basic Medicare premium increased by 10%. Enough said. But there is more. Health care cost growth has been about three times general inflation, not unlike past growth rates. So, the general economy has a lot to do with cost escalation.

imageThose new schemes for paying doctors and hospitals are limited to Medicare, not private insurance, not employer plans and not Obamacare exchange plans although insurers too have been experimenting with various options.

Now look at the actual provisions of Obamacare that do impact cost increases in the non-Medicare population. 👀 👀 👀 Did you see them? Me neither😷 On the contrary, benefit mandates add to costs.

Ask insurance companies, employers, doctors and hospitals how much more they are spending on administration and compliance; how about the IRS and other agencies whose costs are not counted as health care?

Especially ask workers and other insured individuals about the higher deductibles and co-pays they are now responsible for.

General agreement on success? Better just stick with more Americans with health insurance… at any cost.


Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), tapped to be secretary of health and human services under Trump, is a physician, an orthopedic surgeon to be precise. And a tea partier. And an avowed enemy of Obamacare. You’d think a physician might have some compassion for the uninsured, but in Price’s case, think again.

The former orthopedic surgeon has long complained that doctors face, as the AMA put it, “excessive regulatory burdens,” and his proposals would lead to increased pay for doctors. But they would also reverse reforms that have kept health care spending in check during Barack Obama’s presidency and could send costs skyrocketing once again.

For all of the controversy over health care under Obama, there has been general agreement on one area of success: Growth in health care spending has slowed. The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, created new schemes for paying doctors and hospitals that helped sharply reduce the annual increase in national health care spending and keep it below pre-recession levels. Both Republicans and Democrats have supported these provisions, which have centered on charging for the overall quality of care rather than for each service performed. But now Price, a longtime booster of freeing doctors from government restrictions, appears eager and able to undo them.


5 replies »

  1. “…you have Schumer in the Senate who is more practical and less in your face than Reid.” That is true, and as fine an example of damning with faint praise as I’ve read all year.


  2. No, the person defending health reform was 100% correct. He said, according to your note: “… For all of the controversy over health care under Obama, there has been general agreement on one area of success: Growth in health care spending has slowed. …”

    So yes. PPACA has added some discipline to utilization in the form of ever higher deductibles and point of purchase cost sharing. So, what he should have said is that:

    ” … Health care costs born by people are a function of the combination of price and utilization. Today, health reform has modestly accelerated the pre-Health Reform trends where more plans have deductibles and the deductibles are higher, much higher. Surveys show those with employer-sponsored coverage often have a deductible in excess of $1,000. This acceleration in the use and size of deductibles since health reform became law has resulted in a moderation in the use of health services. Because some people have to pay more out of pocket than they have since the 1990’s,health care utilization and in turn the increase in the total cost of health services USED has slightly slowed.

    We are proud of that success, that health reform prompted more employer plans to add deductibles and for many, perhaps most employer plans to increase the size of deductibles. Those changes, in turn, reduce the use of medical services. In fact, the new levels of point of purchase cost sharing have triggered criticism that people are effectively denied access to health services other than “free” contraceptives. We call this “the best coverage people can’t afford to use” and, coupled with out efforts to minimize the rate of growth in the US economy through excessive regulation, we are proud of our success in curtailing the use of medical services as our means of moderating the rate of increase in health care costs.”


  3. That is only the beginning. With the Teapublikkkans in control and an imbecile signing their bills, prepare for air and water pollution, banks running amok once again and the poor schmucks who voted for Trump will just be able to sit and watch the most wealthy become even more wealthy. They will wonder why the jobs have never come back from China?, where’s the big wall across the border? We’re facing a right-wing disater which will be the economy of Kansas on a national scale.


    • Well, what politician keeps election promises? Should anyone be surprised. Never fear Democrats will now play the obstructionist role. One thing though forget the Tea stuff. They are over. I think you overestimate the power of the so-called right wing. There are still people in the middle (wish there were more) to push for sanity. There is one overriding self-interest you underestimate I think. Republicans want to be re-elected and they are not going to keep their tenuous hold on Congress is they screw thongs up or tick off even ten percent more Americans regardless of what Trump wants. He may not care about another four, but the party does. Also you have Schumer in the Senate who is more practical and less in your face than Reid. As much as I am concerned about Trumps stupid remarks, the Country has faced worse and come through.


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