One of the concerns that I had with the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) was the first word — affordable. In all the spinning going on several years ago, people were being led to believe that health care was going to be cheap — or at least cost less. Many of our legislators truly believed it, as Ms. Pelosi said, “Everybody will have lower rates, better quality and better access.” How she, or anyone in Congress, could believe that by expanding coverage and creating massive bureaucracies (insurance exchanges) was going to be cheaper, I don’t have a clue. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Per the trade organization American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) representing the health insurance industry, there are several cost drivers which will adversely affect premium rates over the next several years — this excludes internal drivers which already have medical costs rising at 6-8% a year. Although The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will help millions of people get coverage for the first time, there are three areas which could accelerate health care costs:
1.) A new health insurance tax on carriers;
2.) Mandated benefit requirements, and
3.) Age rating restrictions. This could lead younger and healthier Americans to decide not to get coverage, which could further increase costs (less bodies to absorb premiums).
For those of us who get wonky on health care costs, visit the AHIP site for more information. Although I applaud some of the issues which were covered by AHCA (preexisting conditions, mandated coverage), this piece of legislation is going to create turmoil in the marketplace that no one expected — and it’s not going to reduce costs.
Now, if we could just get those chickens to roost in that proverbial pot that Herbert Hoover promised everyone over 80 years ago, we can get our free lunch!