May 24, 2024

Who’s Right on Healthcare?

One of the trouble with numbers is that with the size of the numbers that were being thrown around the other day at the health care debate was that it’s extremely difficult to tell who is using the right numbers and what the truth is.  President Obama uses numbers that back up his argument, and uses formulas to arrive at them.  The Republicans use a set of numbers as well, and both of them claim to be right.

ABC News got into it, claiming the Republicans were right:

…the CBO analysis does say, flatly, that “the average premium per person covered (including dependents) for new nongroup policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law.”

Why are premiums going up?  CBO cites the combination of three factors:

* Premiums would be 27-30% higher because coverage would be better. The law, for example, requires that all policies cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health & substance abuse and no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.

* Premiums would be 7 to 10 percent lower b/c of changes to the way the individual market is structured.

* Premiums would be 7 to 10 percent lower b/c of an influx of more people, many of them healthy, into the insurance market.

The net effect of those three factors: Premiums would be 10 to 13 percent higher for the average policyholders.

President Obama’s claim of premium reductions of “14 to 20 percent” comes from adding factors two and three. The problem: You can’t ignore factor one.  [Hat Tip: SayAnything]

However, the problem with that is that the numbers above do not reflect any kind of subsidy President Obama might pass for the middle class.

The important thing to remember about that, however, is that any subsidy will also be followed by tax increases to pay for that, which will be passed back down to the people…

The problem with all of these numbers is that the unintended consequences are impossible to calculate, and that makes either of the numbers used potentially dishonest.  It’s a mess, and what I do know is that either of the actions would result in a series of counter actions.

The scary thing is that the new ObamaCare plan leads us into a cycle of increasing taxes and cost—the exact opposite of what they’re claiming to fix.

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One thought on “Who’s Right on Healthcare?

  1. Why do you think every other rich country is able to provide universal health care for far less than we can provide partial health care? Are we just less capable than every other country? The only other area I know of we are so universally worse than every other country is in the percentage of the population that is free (not locked up in jail), though we may be ahead of Russia in % of prisoners. All the health care system performance studies I have seen show the USA on the low end of performance and at a cost 50-100% higher than other countries. If the system we have used in the last 30 years is so great why are we do we have bad to mediocre results at a huge cost?

    I don’t think the current health care reform bill does anywhere close to enough to address the huge problems with our current health system. It seems that yet again (they have been doing so for decades now) those trying to restrict changes have successfully stopped much in the way of reform.

    I am not sure how anyone can believe the new law changes to a new cycle of increasing health care costs. Health care costs have taken an increasing % of the GDP for something like 20 straight years. The worst that can possible happen is the continuous cycle of costs increases are increased.

    I agree this bill failed to do enough to stop the increases. But we can see how good a job of those against reform did to stop reform. Until more people are not willing to accept the continued extremely poor USA health care system results those against reform are going to continue to stop attempts to fix the system that hugely damages our economy year after year, decade after decade. There is no question reform will happen it is only a matter of how long we wait. Currently we waste easily $500 billion a year (compared to what other countries can do). It is sad we have to through so much money away year after year. Unless we are just not capable of matching even the 2nd most inefficient health care system in the world, in which case we are going to suffer a great deal.

    My post on health care
    .-= John Hunter´s last blog ..11 Stocks for 10 Years – March 2010 Update =-.

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