Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who Do You Trust on Healthcare Estimates?

Who do you trust to tell you the truth? That's what it comes down to as the Obama administration rushes its health care reform through Congress.

There are, of course, a lot of people who believe that government can make things work. I was talking to a gentleman recently who was satisfied that the Postal Service was an efficient organization.

But those of us with suspicions about all large and powerful organizations don't buy that. We expect government programs to slowly wind down, becoming less and less efficient, and more and more devoted to the convenience of managers and special interests. And most important of all, the politican's need for reelection.

Now that the insurance industry has finally woken up to the fact that the Obama plan will eat them for lunch they have taken the time and money to get an analysis out of PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

What does the analysis say? It's pretty straight forward. Health reform will make health insurance more expensive. It's about what you would expect. Government doesn't do anything to make things efficient. What is does is shift costs from favored interests to less favored interests. So, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Obama plan will increase insurance premiums due to four principal factors: insurance market reforms, a tax on high-cost plans, cost-shifting from Medicare cuts, and new taxes on the medical industry.

Overall, the study says health care costs will increase:

79 percent between 2009 and 2019 under the current system and by 111 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.

So that's all right then. Reform will only increase costs by 40 percent!

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