Obama: Said he never expected to extend insuranceSo now we're learning that just what critics of ObamaCare said at the time was quite true - that it would increase health-care costs and raise insurance rates for lots of people contrary to Obama's claims that it wouldn't affect anyone who already had health care insurance. As Mary Katharine Ham writes about what we all know now,
coverage to an additional 31 million people "for
free." He added that "we've made huge progress" if
medical inflation could be brought down to the level
of overall inflation, or somewhere slightly above
The facts: Those claims may be supported in the
fine print of the plan he pitched to Congress and a
skeptical public months ago. But they were rarely
heard back then. "My proposal would bring down
the cost of health care for millions -- families,
businesses and the federal government," he
declared in March.
Last August he predicted: "The American people are
going to be glad that we acted to change an
unsustainable system so that more people have
coverage, we're bending the cost curve, and we're
getting insurance reforms."
On Friday, he conceded: "Bending the cost curve on
health care is hard to do." The goal: "Slowly bring
down those costs."
The White House contends that although health care
costs will rise when most of the changes take hold
in 2014 and coverage is extended to the uninsured,
costs will go down over the longer term as controls
Obama: "We took every idea out there about how to
reduce or at least slow the costs of health care over
The facts: One idea that most experts believe would
do the most to control health costs -- directly
taxing health benefits -- was missing in Obama's
plan. Opposition from unions and others was too
great, and Obama himself had campaigned against
Some of the major cost controllers that did make it
into the law -- including a tax on high-value
insurance plans -- don't start until 2018. That tax
was watered down and delayed, and other cost-
control approaches also softened after opposition
from hospitals and other interest groups.
Health spending already accounts for about 17
percent of the economy and is projected to grow to
nearly 20 percent in 2019.
Well, some people knew that. I believe they used to be called fearmongers and liars.Now they're revealed as much better prognosticators than any of the Democrats who pretended to believe that whole cost-curve-bending-down fantasy.