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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Study: Cost of private health insurance skyrockets under government reform

Government health care, Taxes


A new study shows the impact of government health care reform on private health insurance would be quite costly.

America's Health Insurance Plans commissioned the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers to determine the effect of four provisions included in Senate Finance Committee legislation. From the study, those provisions are:

1) Insurance market reforms and consumer protections that would raise health insurance premiums for individuals and families if the reforms are not coupled with an effective coverage requirement.

2)  An excise tax on employer-sponsored high value health plans (or "Cadillac plans") that in a few years could also raise premiums for some moderate value plans.


3) Cuts in payment rates in public programs that could increase cost shifting to private sector businesses and consumers. These changes are expected to more than offset the potential reduction in cost shifting resulting from providing coverage to the uninsured.

4) New taxes on health sector entities that are likely to be passed through to consumers.”


Here is what the study found:

“The overall impact of these provisions will be to increase the cost of private insurance coverage for individuals, families, and businesses above what these costs would be in the absence of reform.


On average, the cost of private health insurance coverage will increase:


  • 26 percent between 2009 and 2013 under the current system and by 40 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.
  • 50 percent between 2009 and 2016 under the current system and by 73 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.
  • 79 percent between 2009 and 2019 under the current system and by 111 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented. 


The increases in private health insurance coverage described above would be on top of the underlying growth in medical costs over the coming period. This analysis shows that the cost of the average family coverage is approximately $12,300 today and could be expected to increase to approximately:

  • $15,500 in 2013 under current law and to $17,200 if these provisions are implemented.
  • $18,400 in 2016 under current law and to $21,300 if these provisions are implemented.
  • $21,900 in 2019 under current law and to $25,900 if these provisions are implemented.

 

This analysis shows that the cost of the average single coverage is $4,600 today and could be expected to increase to:

 

  • $5,800 in 2013 under current law and to $6,400 if these provisions are implemented.
  • $6,900 in 2016 under current law and to $7,900 if these provisions are implemented.
  • $8,200 in 2019 under current law and to $9,700 if these provisions are implemented.”

 

 

Naturally, government health care proponents in Congress are trashing the study. However, the Associated Press reports the health insurance industry's top lobbyist in Washington stands behind the findings. Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans referred to PricewaterhouseCoopers as "a world-class firm" with "a stellar reputation." 

Remember, supporters of a government overhaul of our health care system tried desperately to ram the legislation through as quickly as possible before their constituents back home could realize the damaging ramifications. The tactic failed, and the greater the public’s knowledge of the legislation’s various provisions, the more the opposition grows.

Here is the PricewaterhouseCoopers study. 

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