From Thad McCotter’s latest newsletter comes this ominous news:
On April 22, 2010, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new analysis of President Obama’s government health care plan, confirming our nation’s health care costs will increase rather than decrease and violating a pledge the President made to the nation on September 10, 2009.
McCotter then went on to list many of CMS’s negative conclusions without noting the positives, and he also neglected to provide analysis explaining the difference between the CBO’s earlier estimate and this one. Fortunately, Ezra Klein provided the facts:
The Congressional Budget Office’s estimates look at the deficit. CMS is looking at total national health expenditures. This often confuses people into thinking that there’s conflict between the two sets of numbers when there isn’t: CBO says that federal spending is going to go up to pay for the coverage expansion, but that savings and revenue will go up by even more, leading to a net reduction in the federal deficit.CMS is looking only at the spending side. And here’s what it finds: In 2019, implementation of the Affordable Care Act will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by 34 million people and increase nation health expenditures by 1 percent.
And that 1 percent is actually 1 percent and falling: When the legislation is fully implemented in 2016, the spending increase will be 2 percent. But cost controls kick in over those years and bring it down to 1 percent. Assuming the trend holds, the second decade will see national health expenditures fall below what spending would’ve been if the bill hadn’t passed.
Or, to put it in dollars and cents (emphasis mine):
Third Way, the centrist policy outfit, sent over its own analysis of the data. “The fact is that by 2019, national health spending per insured person will be $15,132 compared to $16,812 without the new law,” they write. “That’s 10 percent less spending per insured person than it would have been, according to the actuary’s report.”
That study suddenly doesn’t look so bad. We’ll be insuring 34 million people and spending less money than we would have been if nothing had been done. That sounds like a good deal to me.