More Lies: ‘Obamacare is Slowing Down Medical Costs’

White House advisor David Cutler’s op-ed published November 8 in the Washington Post, entitled, “The health care law’s success story: slowing down medical costs.” This piece contains the following paragraph:

“Before he was criticized for his statements about insurance continuity, President Obama was lambasted for his forecasts of cost savings. In 2007, Obama asserted that his health-care reform plan would save $2,500 per family relative to the trends at the time. The criticism was harsh; I know because I helped the then-senator make this forecast. Yet events have shown him to be right. Between early 2009 and now, the Office of the Actuaries at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has lowered its forecast of medical spending in 2016 by 1 percentage point of GDP. In dollar terms, this is $2,500 for a family of four.”

“For this paragraph to be correct, the ACA must be the reason the CMS actuaries have lowered their 2016 health spending projections. That is flatly untrue.”  

“the chief CMS actuary found that the ACA would increase national health expenditures through 2016.”

“CMS is now projecting slower health care expenditure growth than they were in 2009 and 2010.”

“Why did CMS lower its estimates of future health spending? It wasn’t because of the ACA. We know this for a fact because CMS has released a memorandum detailing the reasons for changes in their ten-year outlook since April 2010. Here are the factors CMS cited, and the percentage of the improvement each was responsible for:

1) Medicare/Medicaid/other programs “unrelated to the ACA” (50.7% of improvement).

2) Other factors “unrelated to the ACA” (26.1%).

3) Updated data on historical spending growth (21.8%).

4) Updated macroeconomic assumptions (6.1%).”

“Now, that adds up to 104.7% of the total improvement. The reason these four factors add to more than 100% is that a fifth factor, the “impact of the ACA,” worked against the improvement.”

“no one can rightly claim that CMS has revised their near-term cost projections downward because of the ACA. That is simply false.”

No Grounds for Claim that Obamacare Lowers Healthcare Costs
Charles Blahous | 11/25/2013
Charles Blahous is … a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare….

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