Worth Noting

Truth in Numbers

November 26, 2009

On November 24, I brought out the whiteboard on Fox’s “Happening Now” to explain how the Democrats’ proposed health care reform bills would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. As promised, I’ve posted the links to the reports, studies and statements from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and other independent groups from where I got my information. If you’re interested in learning more about this issue, read the reports, take a look at the numbers, and decide for yourself!

Congressional Budget Office:

“Those projected premium amounts include the effect of the fees that would be imposed under the proposal on manufacturers and importers of brand name drugs and medical devices, on health insurance providers, and on clinical laboratories. Those fees would increase costs for affected firms, which would be passed on to purchasers and ultimately would raise insurance fees by a corresponding amount.”—CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, “CBO’s Analysis of Premiums Under The Chairman’s Mark of the America’s Healthy Future Act,” CBO Blog, September 23 2009, http://bit.ly/8cqM94

“The gross cost of the coverage expansions, consisting of exchange subsidies, the net costs of expanded eligibility for Medicaid, and tax credits for employers: Those provisions have an estimated cost of $180 billion in 2019, and that cost is growing at about 8 percent per year toward the end of the 10-year budget window.”—CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf Letter to Senator Baucus, October 7, 2009, page 10, http://bit.ly/5r9vP

The CBO released data showing that premiums for a family’s health insurance plan will increase 28 percent under the Reid bill—from $11,000 to $14,100 per family. That is a $3,100 increase per family. The CBO explains that for the second-lowest benefit plan, called “silver,” premiums would be $5,200 for singles and $14,100 for families in 2016, when the policy is fully phased in. CBO also provides a table with the premiums people would pay in the exchange at different income levels, given the premium tax credits. The report shows that even after spending $2.5 trillion, the Reid bill still could leave middle class families with major health care costs. CBO writes that, “A family of four with income of about $54,000 (also 225 percent of the FPL in 2016) could expect to pay about 17% of its income for premiums and cost sharing for the reference plan.”—CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf Letter to Senator Reid, November 20, 2009, http://bit.ly/5bae94

Independent Studies:

Hay Group, “Impact Of Proposed Senate Finance Committee Health Care Reform Bill On the Nongroup Market,” October 5, 2009, http://bit.ly/5hULMO

PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Potential Impact of Health Reform on the Cost of Private Health Insurance Coverage,” October 11, 2009, http://bit.ly/4wN9cO

Wellpoint, “Health Care Reform Premium Impact in Ohio,” 2009, http://bit.ly/7UyLT1

Oliver Wyman, “Insurance Reforms Must Include A Strong Individual Mandate And Other Key Provisions To Ensure Affordability,” October 14, 2009, http://bit.ly/8LdIIv

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