Two new studies highlight the growing concern that the true cost for Obamacare is greater than originally anticipated. Last week, a new report from the Office of the Actuary at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revised its estimates—exposing yet again that the new law will mean more health care spending, not less. Plus, the Congressional Research Service released a report that suggests states will face higher costs as a result of Obamacare.
These studies are just two examples of how assumptions, even small ones, in forecast models of Obamacare result in large differences for the total cost of the new law. The CMS study, for example, assumes the scheduled physician payment cuts will continue as planned, resulting in significant savings that will help offset the massive expenses from Obamacare. However, history has shown that these cuts have never gone into effect and aren’t likely to do so in the future. As a matter of fact, the physician cuts for this year already were postponed. The CRS report focuses on the variation in estimates regarding the impact of the new law on the states.
If any of the underlying assumptions for the new law miss their target, the price tag is sure to go up. To help Americans better understand how different the results of Obamacare can be with just small changes in the estimates, the Heritage Foundation will soon release an online calculator that will allow users to test out their own theories. It’s one more way the public can decide what’s realistic and unlikely when it comes to the savings and costs of Obamacare.