As Insurance Costs Rise, Politicians Fight Over Health Care Law
The study showed that the average annual health insurance premium for families getting coverage through employers is now $15,073, a nine percent increase as compared to the three percent increase in 2010. This figure outpaces both workers’ wage increases and general inflation.
“Despite the president’s repeated promises that the Democrats’ health care law would lower the cost of health insurance, employers are still facing higher health costs,” said Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger, R-Calif.
Americans have been putting off doctor’s visits and expensive procedures to avoid extra expenses. Their employers are coping by switching to plans that require more out-of-pocket spending from employees. But more importantly, they are hiring fewer employees and paying attention to the potential health insurance costs of the ones they do.
The White House responded to the study by defending the Affordable Care Act. It emphasized that the premiums were set in 2010 and were based on false assumptions about cost predictions.
“The Kaiser report is informative, but it’s a look backwards,” wrote Nancy-Ann DeParle, deputy chief of staff. The blog encouraged a forward-thinking approach to health care and claimed that signs indicate insurance costs will decrease in 2012.
It is still unclear what effect the study will have in the political arena, but Maulik Joshi, president of Health Research & Educational Trust and senior vice president for research at the American Hospital Association believes the “survey findings related to the impact of early provisions in heath reform provide valuable insight for employers, providers, consumers, and policymakers as they prepare for additional provisions to take effect by 2014.”
The Obama administration has appealed to the Supreme Court to challenge a lower court ruling that declared a key part of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
Reach staff reporter Gabriella Hecht here.
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