#ObamaCare: Obama’s Cost Curve Promise Revisited

- March 20, 2012

ObamaCare Delivers Another Broken Promise As Families Continue To See Costs Go Up


Obama Said “Every Single Good Idea To Bend The Cost Curve And Start Actually Reducing Health Care Costs Are In This Bill.”  OBAMA: “And everybody who's looked at it says that every single good idea to bend the cost curve and start actually reducing health care costs are in this bill.” (President Barack Obama,Remarks At The House Democratic Caucus, Washington, D.C., 3/20/10)

Vice President Joe Biden Said That A Goal Of ObamaCare Was To Bend The “Cost Curve.” BIDEN:  But, look, I think, if I can lay out, Mr. President, what I think we all agree on, and then figure out whether as a way to deal with the deficit end of this -- bending the cost curve, to use a phrase you and many others have used, Mr. President.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Remarks By The President In Discussion of the Deficit at Bipartisan Meeting On Health Care Reform, Washington, DC, 2/25/10)


 “The Federal Government Financed A Larger Share” Of Health Care Costs. “Finally, as businesses, households, and state and local governments financed a smaller share of total national health care spending during and just after the recession, the federal government financed a larger share.” (Anne B. Martin, David Lassman, Benjamin Washington, Aaron Catlin And The National Health Expenditures Accounts Team, “Growth In US Health Spending Remained Slow In 2010; Health Share Of Gross Domestic Product Was Unchanged From 2009,” Health Affairs, 31, No. 1 (2012):208-219)

The CBO Projects That Federal Health Care Costs Will Continue Rising Despite Obama’s Promise To Bend The Health Care Cost Curve. “In addition, the major health care legislation enacted in 2012 will increase the number of beneficiaries of federal health care programs, and CBO projects that the costs of those programs per beneficiary will continue rising …” (“The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, 8/24/11)

  • Increased Spending On Health Care “Will Cause The Federal Debt To Skyrocket.”  “The aging of the population and rising costs for health care will push federal spending up considerably as a percentage of GDP. If that higher level of spending is coupled with revenues that are held close to their average share of GDP for the past 40 years (rather than being allowed to increase, as under current law), the resulting deficits will cause federal debt to skyrocket.” (“The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, 8/24/11)

Federal Health Care Spending Will Increase

When Medicare’s Chief Actuary Rick Foster Was Asked If ObamaCare Would Bring Down Medical Costs As Obama Promised, He Said “I Would Say False, More So Than True.” “Foster was asked by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., for a simple true or false response on two of the main assertions made by supporters of the law: that it will bring down unsustainable medical costs and will let people keep their current health insurance if they like it. On the costs issue, ‘I would say false, more so than true,’ Foster responded.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Medicare Official Doubts Health Care Law Savings,” The Associated Press, 1/26/11)

  • Foster: “If implemented as written, the health care law will ‘create a whole new world of health care spending.’”(Brett Norman, “CMS: Health Law Will Lead To Rise In Spending,” Politico, 7/28/11)

Health Care Spending To Increase 8.4 Percent By 2014.  “The anticipated influx of people into public and private health insurance plans in 2014 will increase spending by 8.4 percent that year, but then it would level off to average of 5.8 percent over the decade.” (Brett Norman, “CMS:  Health Law Will Lead To Rise In Spending,” Politico, 7/28/11)

  • CBO: ObamaCare Mandates Will “Significantly Increase” Mandatory Health Care Spending “From $26 Billion This Year To $161 Billion In 2022.” “Provisions in the Affordable Care Act will significantly increase the scope and scale of such benefits in the coming decade. In CBO’s baseline projections, federal spending for mandatory health care programs other than Medicare and Medicaid rises from $26 billion this year to $161 billion in 2022.” (The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 To 2022, Congressional Budget Office, 1/31/12)

In 2020, “$1 Of Every $5 In The Economy” Will Go Towards Health Care.  “The nation’s health care tab is on track to hit $4.6 trillion in 2020, accounting for about $1 of every $5 in the economy, government number crunchers estimate in a report on Thursday …  Including government and private money, health care spending in 2020 will average $13,710 for every man, woman and child, says Medicare’s Office of the Actuary.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Health Tab To Hit $4.6 Trillion In 2020,” The Associated Press, 7/28/11)

ObamaCare To Cost More Than Before It Was Enacted

ObamaCare Is Causing Nation’s Health Care Costs To Increase More Than Had It Never Been Enacted.  “Despite President Obama’s promises to rein in health care costs as part of his reform bill, health spending nationwide is expected to rise more than if the sweeping legislation had never become law.  Total spending is projected to grow annually by 5.8 percent under Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act, according to a 10-year forecast by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Thursday.  Without the ACA, spending would grow at a slightly slower rate of 5.7 percent annually.” (Paige Winfield Cunningham, “Health Care Law Won’t Rein In Costs, Study Says,” The Washington Times, 7/28/11)

  • The Center For Medicare And Medicaid Services Said That Health Care Spending Will Increase Faster Than Before ObamaCare Was Passed. "In February, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projected that overall national health spending would increase an average of 6.1% a year over the next decade. The center's economists recalculated the numbers in light of the health bill and now project that the increase will average 6.3% a year, according to a report in the journal Health Affairs. Total U.S. health spending will reach $4.6 trillion by 2019, accounting for nearly one of every five U.S. dollars spent, the report says." (Janet Adamy, "Health Outlays Still Seen Rising," The Wall Street Journal9/9/10)

Democratic Co-Chair Of Obama’s Fiscal Commission Erskine Bowles: ObamaCare “Didn’t Do A Lot To Address Cost Factors In Health Care.” “The Democratic co-chair of President Obama’s fiscal commission said Wednesday that the president’s health care bill will do very little to bring down costs, contradicting claims from the White House that their sweeping legislation will dramatically impact runaway entitlement spending. ‘It didn’t do a lot to address cost factors in health care. So we’ve got a lot of work to do,’ said Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, speaking about the new health law, which was signed into law by Obama this past spring after a nearly year-long fight in Congress.” (Jon Ward, “Obama Fiscal Commission Co-Chair Pans Health Bill’s Impact On Costs,” The Daily Caller, 7/15/10)


Obama Said By Taking The Necessary Steps To Pass His Health Reform, All Americans Would Prosper. OBAMA: “By insisting that the reforms that we're introducing are deficit neutral over the next decade, and by making the reforms that will help slow the growth rate of health care costs over the coming decades--bending the curve--we can look forward to faster economic growth, higher living standards, and falling, instead of rising, budget deficits.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, 6/15/09)

Family Health Care Costs Are Rising

Under Obama, The Cost Of Family Health Care Premiums Have Increased From $13,375 To $15,073. (Phil Galewitz And Andrew Villegas, “Workers Face Higher Costs For Employer-Sponsored Insurance,” Kaiser Health News, 9/15/09; Julie Appleby, “Cost Of Employer Insurance Plans Surge In 2011,” Kaiser Health News, 9/27/11) ObamaCare “Falls Short Of Making Health Care ‘Affordable And Available To Every Single American,’ As Promised.” “Furthermore, the law falls short of making health care ‘affordable and available to every single American,’ as promised.” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,”, 1/4/12)

  • ObamaCare Is Actually Making Health Care “Less Affordable.” “At the moment, the new law is making health care slightly less affordable. Independent health care experts say the law has caused some insurance premiums to rise. As we wrote in October, the new law has caused about a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans because of requirements for increased benefits. Last year’s premium increases cast even more doubt on another promise the president has made — that the health care law would ‘lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.’” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,”, 1/4/12)
  • The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: “Moreover, at this point it is debatable whether the law has made health care more affordable. Insurance premiums have gone up, in part because of new benefits mandated by the law.” (Glenn Kessler, “The Fine Print In Obama’s ‘Promises Kept’ Ad,” The Washington Post’s “The Fact Checker,” 1/6/12)

The Deficit Continues To Increase

CBO: 2012 Deficit Estimated At $1.2 Trillion. “The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the deficit for 2012 is $93 billion larger than it had estimated in January. The deficit is now estimated to be $1.2 trillion this year, now that CBO has factored in new policies like the extension of the payroll tax holiday.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO: Deficit Is 493 Billion Larger,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 3/13/12)

  • The Deficit “Remains Very Large By Historical Standards.” “‘The fundamental story about the federal budget has not changed: Although the deficit is starting to shrink, it remains very large by historical standards,’ it says.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO: Deficit Is 493 Billion Larger,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 3/13/12)

President Obama Has Racked Up The Three Largest Deficits In U.S. History. “The U.S budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 is $1.299 trillion, the second largest shortfall in history. The nation only ran a larger deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, which included the dramatic collapse of financial markets and a huge bailout effort by the government.”(Erik Wasson, “Treasury Announces 2011 Deficit Is Second Highest In History,” The Hill’s On The Money, 10/14/11)

  • “Obama's Spending Blueprint For The Budget Year That Begins Oct. 1 Projects A Deficit For This Year Of $1.33 Trillion. That Would Mean Four Straight Years Of Trillion-Dollar-Plus Deficits.” (Martin Crutsinger, “The Fight Begins: Obama’s Budget Going To Congress,” The Associated Press, 2/12/12)

The Economy Is Still Bad

The Economy Remains In “By Far The Worst Jobs Recovery Since The Great Depression.” “Even with the recent gains, this is also by far the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression, and the U.S. still has about 5.5 million fewer jobs than it did before the recession began in December 2007.” (Editorial, “The January Jobs Thaw,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/4/12)

  • “Our Economy Remains Deeply Depressed… Even At January’s Pace Of Job Creation It Would Take Us Until 2019 To Return To Full Employment.” “That said, our economy remains deeply depressed. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we started 2012 with fewer workers employed than in January 2001 — zero growth after 11 years, even as the population, and therefore the number of jobs we needed, grew steadily. The institute estimates that even at January’s pace of job creation it would take us until 2019 to return to full employment.” (Paul Krugman, Op-Ed, “Things Are Not O.K.,” The New York Times, 2/5/12)

The White House Predicts Unemployment Next Year Could Remain Higher Than 8 Percent, Meaning No Job Growth After “The Biggest Stimulus Package In The History Of The World.” “The White House anticipates unemployment at 8.25 percent and Goldman Sachs and others warn the number could be higher — close to 9 percent, which would mean no net job growth after the biggest stimulus package in the history of the world.” (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, “Obama’s Big Drags,” Politico, 8/4/11)

  • The OMB’s Alternative Forecast Predicts That Unemployment Will Remain Above Nine Percent Through 2012. “In an effort to take into consideration changes in the economic climate that have occurred since June (turmoil in Europe, natural disasters domestically, etc....) OMB offers an ‘alternative economic forecast’ along with the Mid-Session Review. Under that model, the unemployment rate takes even longer to decline, going from 9.0 percent in 2012, to 8.5 percent in 2013 to 7.8 percent in 2014. In 2016 it hits 6.1 percent.” (Sam Stein, “White House Report: Unemployment Rate Above 6 Percent Until 2016,” The Huffington Post, 9/1/11)


During An Interview With CBS’s Steve Kroft, Obama Claimed That He Deserved To Be Reelected Because Of ObamaCare. CBS’S STEVE KROFT: “Why do you think you deserve to be reelected? What have you accomplished?” OBAMA: “Not only saving this country from a great depression, not only saving the auto industry, but putting in place a system in which we're going to start lowering health care costs and you're never going to go bankrupt because you get sick or somebody in your family gets sick.” (CBS’ “60 Minutes,” 12/11/11)

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