If this information goes public it could case serious harm to, indeed perhaps rent the very fabric of, the right wing dream world where all our wingnut friends and their putative leaders are frothing about…
Obamacare isn’t fully in place, and won’t be until 2014 at the earliest. But it has passed. And since it has passed, health-care spending has been dropping. Karen Davis, director of the Commonwealth Fund, writes that the most recent spending projections show a “$275 billion (5.6 percent) reduction for 2020, compared with pre-reform estimates. Moreover, that projection represents a cumulative reduction of $1.7 trillion over the 10 years from 2011 to 2020.”
You might argue that that’s just the recession, but as Davis writes, “the recession doesn’t plausibly explain why projected health spending in 2020 is substantially below estimates made just two years ago.” And why the recession having such an effect on long-term spending under Medicare? The latest data shows we’re on track to spend $750 billion less than the pre-reform projections suggested. The Medicare cuts in the Affordable Care Act account for barely half of that. If these trends hold, the Affordable Care Act will cost far less than anticipated.
Is this all the Affordable Care Act? Certainly not. The recession is part of it. And perhaps efforts over the last decade to change the health-care system are beginning to pay off. But the passage of the ACA didn’t just send a loud signal to the health-care industry that things needed to change. It laid out, in endless detail, how providers would begin to lose money if they didn’t change. And so they’ve started changing. We’re seeing more consolidation in the hospital industry. We’re seeing doctors join larger group practices. We’re seeing efforts to crack down on medical errors and prepare for regulations that will penalize hospitals with high rates of readmission.
It’s possible those preparations are beginning to bear fruit. At the very least, as Davis writes, “the dire predictions that the Affordable Care Act would fail to control costs and, in fact, accelerate spending have not been borne out by the early experience. It now appears that both the costs of covering the uninsured and Medicare spending are substantially below pre-reform estimates.”
Please keep it to yourselves; those poor fools are suffering enough already as they face the inevitability of Mitt (0r maybe not).