During his first run for president, Barack Obama made one very specific promise to voters: He would cut health insurance premiums for families by $2,500, and do so in his first term.
But it turns out that family premiums have increased by more than $3,000 since Obama’s vow, according to the latest annual Kaiser Family Foundation employee health benefits survey.
Premiums for employer provided family coverage rose $3,065 24% from 2008 to 2012, the Kaiser survey found.
What’s more, premiums climbed faster in Obama’s four years than they did in the previous four under President Bush, the survey data show.
It was asubstantially slower rate of growth than in past years,including 2011, when premiums jumped 9 percent.
And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.
At a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, in February 2008, Obama promised that “We are going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2,500. We will not wait 20 years from now to do it, or 10 years from now to do it. We will do it by the end of our first term as president.”.
To back that up, Obama pointed to a memo drafted by Harvard professors (and unpaid campaign advisers), which claimed that investing in health care IT, cutting administrative bloat, and improving management of chronic diseases would cut health costs by $140 billion a year.
But those projections were wildly optimistic, overestimating potential savings from IT, making big assumptions about disease management, and ignoring the fact that past government interventions have always increased health care administrative costs.
Meanwhile, the health reform law Obama signed in March 2010 has pushed up insurance costs.
The Council for Affordable Health Insurance found more than 2,200 state benefit mandates, which add from 10% to 50% to the cost of coverage.
In 2011, premiums spiked 9.5%, and many in the industry blame ObamaCare for at least part of it.
It requires insurance companies to provide 100% coverage for various types of preventive care, bans lifetime coverage limits, extends parents’ coverage to offspring up to 26 years old, and requires plans to meet certain “medical loss ratios.”.
Coming up are rules on “essential standard benefits,” limits on deductibles, bans on annual spending caps, and much more.
Stefanie O'Neill is a business journalist based in Hong Kong, China. Stefanie has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Stefanie spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.