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CMS Report: Healthcare Reform To Increase Spending

Seniors listen to a round table discussion on the benefits of the Affordable  Care Act.

By BRETT NORMAN | 7/28/11 8:36 AM EDT

The Affordable Care Act will drive health care spending up slightly, to nearly a fifth of the country’s gross domestic product by 2020, while extending insurance coverage to 30 million more Americans, a new report from CMS projects.

But health care’s hefty share of the country’s economic output is reached through an average annual growth in medical spending of 5.8 percent over the next decade — just 0.1 percent more than would have been spent without the health reform law, the report claims.

CMS published its findings this morning in Health Affairs. The report also projects that once all the data are in, health spending in 2010 will have grown a historically low 3.9 percent — slightly lower than the previous record low growth of 4 percent in 2009.

That’s an aftershock of the recession, which cost millions of people their jobs and, consequently, their health insurance, slowing medical spending. Continue reading

Contradicting Surveys Create Public Confusion

From The New York Times:

Douglas Holtz-Eakin headed a group of 105 economists opposed to the ACA

By – June 20, 2011

The debate over the effects of the federal health care law on employer-provided insurance has been intensifying in recent weeks, with controversial polls and consultants contradicting one another about whether employees will benefit or lose coverage by 2014.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin headed a group of 105 economists opposed to the Affordable Care Act.

After nearly two weeks of widespread queries and criticisms, McKinsey & Company, the management consulting firm, posted on Monday the questionnaire and methodology of an online survey it had released that was denounced by the White House and others for contending that nearly a third of employers would definitely or probably drop coverage for employees when provisions of the health care law took effect in 2014. Continue reading

Firm Releases Bunk Analysis Of New Health Care Law

From Talking Points Memo:

Brian Beutler| June 10, 2011, 4:40PM

The political damage to President Obama’s health care law may already be done. But there’s a curious backstory to the report this week from a major consulting firm study that found “ObamaCare” would lead to fairly dramatic unintended consequences.

The consulting firm McKinsey & Company was thrust into the political spotlight Tuesday after it published a study — at odds with the expert consensus — finding that, once fully implemented, the health care reform law will drive huge numbers of employers to drop or dramatically restructure their companies’ health care benefits.

The predictable fallout led Democrats, and several reporters, to press McKinsey for the survey itself — a request McKinsey has declined on the grounds that the material is proprietary.

But multiple sources both within and outside the firm tell TPM the survey was not conducted using McKinsey’s typical, meticulous methodology. Indeed, the article the firm published was not intended to give the subject matter the same authoritative treatment as more thorough studies on the same topic — particularly those conducted by numerous think tanks, and the Congressional Budget Office, which came to the opposite conclusion. And that’s created a clamor within the firm at high levels to set the record straight. Continue reading

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