Why Healthcare Costs Are About To Explode

Sunday, June 30, 2013
By Paul Martin

By Louis Goodman & Tim Norbeck

Word out of Washington is that Obamacare is finally fulfilling its promise to bend the nation’s healthcare cost curve. Unfortunately, it’s bending it the wrong way.

Forty-one months after its passage, data are beginning to emerge questioning whether the Accountable Care Act (ACA) can actually provide care to more Americans for less. These data appear to be surprising to its advocates, but they’re merely old news to those analysts who repeatedly questioned how adding 32 million people to the insurance rolls could possibly lower costs – especially when many of them will need treatment for illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer which have gone undiagnosed for years. Furthermore, the population of those over 65 will have doubled between 2000 and 2030. Not surprisingly, compared to young people, older Americans use more healthcare, largely because they are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

And many remember the first year of Medicare in 1966, when the cost of the program was $3 billion. Projections for the cost of Medicare in 1990 were $12 billion. The actual cost in 1990: $107 billion. Cost estimates of government programs are always underestimated, as will be the case with the ACA.

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