For months now, the right-wing noise machine and other opponents of health reform have been claiming (ad nauseum) that the new Federal health law will result in “massive spending,” likely plummeting the country further into debt.
However, according to a New York Times article today, a government study found that the new law will have, “negligible effects on total national health spending in the next 10 years.”
“In the aggregate,” said Andrea M. Sisko, the principal author of the report, “it appears that the new law will have a moderate effect on health spending growth rates and the health care share of the economy.”
In 2009, the report said, national health spending, public and private, totaled $2.5 trillion and accounted for 17.3 percent of the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product. The report predicts that health spending will rise to $4.6 trillion and account for 19.6 percent of the economy in 2019.
By contrast, in February, before passage of the comprehensive health care law, the same team of government experts, using the same economic and demographic assumptions, predicted that national health spending would reach $4.5 trillion, or 19.3 percent of the gross domestic product, in 2019.
Meanwhile, it’s important to focus on what the Federal health law actually DOES:
- Expands coverage to approximately 32.5 million people;
- Allows young adults to stay on their families’ coverage through age 26;
- Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to children (2010) and adults (2014) due to so-called “pre-existing conditions;”
- Requires insurance companies to provide free preventive care services;
- Creates the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan - for people previously unable to get coverage due to so-called “pre-existing conditions;”
Likewise, we’re continuing to work at the State level to promote legislation that would implement and improve upon the Federal health law, while also working to engage and educate the public about how the law will help them.
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