Editor's pick: PPACA: 4 inconvenient truths

By Lauren McNitt


No matter what the Supreme Court decides, President Obama’s signature law may cost him the election for four reasons, according to a recent article by Politico's health care editor, David Nather.

Broken promises

While the president has told Americans that if they like their current health care plan, they can keep it, a CBO report says otherwise. Three million to 5 million people could switch from employer-based health coverage to government coverage as PPACA takes effect. In a worst-case scenario, this could happen for as many as 20 million.

“For Republicans, the CBO report is a giant ‘I told you so’ moment — and they’re lining up to tell you so,” writes Nather.

Cost reduction

Whether the Supreme Court upholds the law will have little impact on rising health costs, according to Nather.

“That’s because the main drivers of rising costs — including technology, expensive new drugs, an aging population, a surge in chronic diseases, and Americans’ propensity to use a lot more health care than many other countries, even if it doesn’t make them any healthier — have nothing to do with the law,” he says.

Paying for PPACA

The White House promises the health care reform law will reduce the deficit, and the CBO concurs. But Nather says these are just educated guesses and may not pan out — especially if Congress blocks the Medicare cuts, which they are likely to do.

“For example, the law is supposed to save $157 billion over 10 years by increasing Medicare payments more slowly for inpatient hospital, home health and skilled nursing facility services. The law expects those providers to become more productive and more efficient,” says Nather. “But watch for plenty of lobbying pressure on Congress to cancel those cuts.”

American opinion

Democrats and the Obama administration were certain Americans would like health care reform once it was implemented, according to Nather. Yet, recent polls show that fewer than half of the population supports the law. In addition, polls show that Americans know less about the law now than they did in 2010.

Read the article: Health care reform: 4 inconvenient truths.