Written by Linda Gorman
Linda Gorman provides a much needed resource below.
Supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act claim that it will reduce Colorado health care costs and health insurance premiums. Nonsense. Even economist Jonathan Gruber, an ObamaCare architect, estimated that it would increase premiums in Colorado’s individual market by 19 percent. Don’t be fooled when the businesses, bureaucrats, and non-profits who benefit from increasing your premiums choose to blame your higher costs on everything but the ObamaCare law.
Here is the list you’ve always needed.
Item 1 explains the $8 billion in new taxes that insurers must pay the federal government in 2014, an amount that increases through 2018 and then applies in all of the years to come. The tax is not deductible. With corporate taxes, this means that a company must collect $1.35 to cover an additional $1.00 in ObamaCare taxes. As part of the war on private enterprise, nonprofit insurers pay less. Companies that play ball with the government, by getting at least 80 percent of their revenues from government programs, pay nothing at all.
Item 10 explains that patients will pay an estimated $2.3 billion more for prescription drugs. This is the result of a new tax on innovator drug companies. It taxes success because companies that innovate more pay more.
Item 17 is the $25 million in transitional reinsurance program fees. One estimate puts their cost at $63 per covered life per year. The money will be taken from insurers and self-funded plans and transferred to state nonprofit entities and the Treasury. It is supposed to be used to “stabilize” the individual market, a market that was stable before ObamaCare passed.
Item 19 covers the limit on the waiting period for enrollment into employer plans. Companies in construction and transportation, industries with high turnover, typically required waiting periods of 6 to 12 months before employees could join employer plans. ObamaCare puts a 90 day limit on waiting periods. Now that an employee can work 3 months, then have a medical procedure and quit, employer costs are expected to increase by 4 percent in industries with 6 month waiting periods and by 25 percent in those with 12 month waiting periods.
Item 22 is the slacker mandate, the requirement that “children” up to age 26 must be covered by family policies. The estimated additional premium cost for this was 1 percent in states that did not already have the mandate.
---Linda Gorman is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Health Care Policy Institute at the Independence Institute, a state-based free market think tank in Golden, Colorado.
A former academic economist, she has written extensively about the problems created by government interference in health care decisions and the promise of consumer directed health care. Her articles on minimum wages, education, and discrimination appear in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.
A frequent contributor to John Goodman's Health Policy blog, she is also a member of the Galen Institute's Health Policy Consensus Group and was appointed to the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Healthcare Reform where she co-authored one of the Commission's minority reports. She holds a Ph.D. in economics.