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Obamacare to Increase Premiums by 30% for Wisconsin Residents
Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:03
Written by Justin Credible
Wisconsin is turning into a crucial swing state in this election, despite the fact that Obamacare will increase individual health insurance premiums by 30%. This statistic alone should be enough to wake Wisconsin residents up as the economic impact that President Barack Hussein Obama is having on their state. However, with all due respect, this is the same state that had an insurrection at their state capitol because labor union thugs and teachers were asked to pay towards their Cadillac health care and pension plans.
Team Obama has wisely ignored Obamacare while on the campaign trail because they know the law affects every single American in a negative way, while handing over control the government. It's unpopular and it destroys the best health care system in the world. But the impacts of the law go so much deeper than Team Obama will ever admit, which is why they're intentionally withholding imposing regulations until after the election - they know the truth will cost them the election.
A new report shows the serious impact Obamacare has on Wisconsin residents.
With the Presidential election one week away, it’s worth reviewing how Obamacare will impact the residents of key swing states. In Wisconsin, as elsewhere, Obamacare will drive up the cost of private health coverage, especially for those who buy insurance on their own. One of Obama’s key health-care advisers, Jonathan Gruber, found that by 2016, individual premiums in Wisconsin will increase by an average of 30 percent. In addition, Obamacare will deeply cut Medicare Advantage for more than 300,000 Wisconsin seniors enrolled in the program. And 27 percent of Wisconsin physicians say that they will place new or additional limits on accepting Medicare patients. Read on for more details.
Individual-market premiums to increase by as much as 85 percent
In July of 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services asked Jonathan Gruber and Gorman Actuarial to estimate the impact of Obamacare on the private insurance market. The Gruber-Gorman report makes clear, as do similar reports for other states, that Obamacare’s web of insurance mandates and regulations will dramatically increase the cost of individually-purchased insurance.
By 2016, according to Gruber and Gorman, “overall premiums will increase 30% on average” in the individual insurance market. As the table above shows, only 5.5 percent of Wisconsin residents will enjoy lower premiums, whereas the remaining 94.5 percent will face increases. 41 percent of Wisconsinites will face premium increases of 50 percent or more.
Because Obamacare forces insurers to cover a buffet of benefits that they don’t have to today, the cost of insurance will go up. Another driver of higher premiums is the fact that insurers will have to cover everyone, regardless of previous health status, a change that will attract sicker enrollees at the expense of healthier ones.
Some Obamacare defenders try to argue that these cost increases don’t matter, because a slice of the low-income population will benefit from the law’s subsidies. But if you’re not eligible for subsidies, or only partially eligible, you will be exposed to the law’s dramatic increases in the cost of insurance. And remember that Obamacare has an individual mandate, which will force most Americans to absorb these higher costs.
Obamacare to cut Medicare by $9,459 per Wisconsin retiree
Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion between 2013 and 2022 in order to pay for part of the law’s $1.9 trillion in new health-care spending for younger people over the same time frame. My co-blogger Robert Book and Michael Ramlet have published a paper for the University of Minnesota showing that Wisconsin’s share of those Medicare cuts is $11.7 billion. This year, Wisconsin has 948,489 Medicare enrollees, which means that these cuts amount to $9,459 for every senior in the state.
Robert Book published another paper, this time with former White House budget official James Capretta, detailing Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage on a state-by-state basis. Robert and Jim found that, in 2017, Obamacare will cut $3,496 in Medicare Advantage services for every Wisconsinite enrolled in the program: a 28 percent cut. And 32 percent of Wisconsin’s seniors—301,548—are enrolled in Medicare Advantage.
Survey: 22 percent of Wisconsin doctors will stop accepting Medicare patients
Last month, the Physicians Foundation published one of the largest physician surveys ever conducted in the United States, with 13,575 respondents. They asked physicians a broad range of questions, including several about their views on Obamacare. 55 percent of Wisconsin physicians said that the Affordable Care Act made them “less positive about the direction and future of healthcare in America.” Only 17 percent said it made them feel more positive.
If Medicare fees decrease by ten percent or more—as the Affordable Care Act will require—27 percent of Wisconsin doctors say that they will place “new or additional limits” on accepting Medicare patients. 22 percent say they’ll stop accepting Medicare patients altogether. In August, I wrote about one such physician, Paul Wertsch in Madison, whose clinic was the first in that city to stop accepting Medicare. According to this survey, many more will follow.
The survey also has bad news for Cheeseheads on other forms of insurance. 23 percent of Wisconsin physicians say that they’ll place new or additional limits on Medicaid patients as a result of the Medicare cuts; 21 percent also say they plan to raise fees on those with private insurance in order to compensate for the cuts.
More state-by-state analysis forthcoming
This is the second in a series of posts I will publish on the effect of Obamacare on individual states, so long as Hurricane Sandy doesn’t knock out my electricity. The first piece, on Ohio, is here. Here’s the third one, on Virginia, and the fourth on Florida. I’ll link to the other posts when they’re up. In the meantime, stay safe.
Obamacare is a devastating law that impacts every American negatively. The impact on Wisconsin is relevant to this election because it's a swing state, but every state is feeling the pain equally, if not worse.
Justin Credible is a contributing editor for Habledash.