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More Inconvenient Obamacare Truths



Conn Carroll
The Foundry, The Heritage Foundation
May 3, 2010

Last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final cost projections for Obamacare, finding that, contrary to White House claims, the legislation will increase national health spending by $311 billion over the next decade and will cause 14 million Americans to lose their current employer-based health coverage. President Barack Obama unleashed his staff to attack Foster’s work. Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer downplayed and criticized Foster’s analysis on the White House website. As Heritage’s Rob Bluey reports this was not the first time the author of the report, Medicare and Medicaid chief actuary Rick Foster, had been attacked by a White House:

Foster’s projections about the Medicare drug benefit in 2003 nearly cost him his job when the estimates didn’t conform to President George W. Bush’s prescribed talking points.

Foster later testified that he was ordered by a Bush administration official to deliberately withhold the information from Congress.

Foster has since been asked to testify before at least four House committees. When they do, there are plenty of other alarms Foster’s report raises about Obamacare including:

  • Millions Pay Fines Yet Remain Uncovered: 18 million Americans will pay $33 billion in penalties for failing to comply with Obamacare’s individual mandate.
  • Firms Pay Billions to Comply with Employer Mandate: Between 2014-2019 firms that do not offer health insurance and are subject to the “play-or-play” mandate will pay $87 billion in penalties.
  • Millions Placed on Welfare: Of the 34 million Americans who gain health insurance through Obamacare, over half (18 million) will receive it through the welfare program Medicaid.
  • Millions Lose Medicare Advantage: 7.4 million seniors who currently get such services as coor dinated care for chronic conditions, routine eye and hearing examinations, and preventive-care services would lose their existing private coverage.
  • Seniors Lose Access to Care: Obamacare’s top down price control Medicare cuts will make 15% of all Medicare providers unprofitable thus “jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries.”

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