Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The true costs of Obamacare about to hit Wisconsin

Peter Suderman at Reason points us to a report on the costs of Obamacare for Wisconsin. Gruber is a supporter of the health care reform and he was also a consultant for Romney's Massachusetts health care reform. The analysis of what Obamacare would cost the state was ordered by the former Democratic governor, Jim Doyle, who was a big supporter of the health care reform law.

The report does say that about 340,000 Wisconsinites will get insurance coverage, though half of them will be on Medicaid. It's not clear how the state is going to afford all those new enrollees in Medicaid.

But the real kicker that might surprise Wisconsinites is what the plan is going to do for those who already have health insurance.
Meanwhile expanding the state’s health insurance coverage will come at a significant cost to hundreds of thousands of individuals, especially within the individual market, where the law has the greatest effect. Gruber projects that the average individual market health insurance premium will cost about 30 percent more than if ObamaCare had never passed. For most individual market enrollees, the average premium increase will be even higher: 87 percent of the individual market is projected to see a premium price increase of 41 percent.

Defenders of the law might note that more than half—about 57 percent—of those who get their insurance through the individual market will benefit from the law’s generous health insurance subsidies. But even discounting the enormous public cost of financing those subsidies (which account for roughly half of the law’s $950 billion price tag over the next decade), it’s still not much consolation for the majority of individual market enrollees.

That’s because more than half the individual market will still end up paying more: “After the application of tax subsidies,” the report projects, “59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent.”

And over half of small businesses are going to see their premiums rise as a result of the law. I wonder how many of those businesses will give up their coverage for their employees and throw them onto the state services.

Gee, you might say, that's not what Obama and the Democrats promised us. Remember all those promises that Obama made about how nothing would change for those of us who are happy with our coverage.

Never mind.