HHS, and top Obama administration officials held a town hall to discuss the advantages of ObamaCare for women. The discussion was heavy on emotion and light on details. Here is a summary of some of the effects of ObamaCare that the administration prefers not to discuss.
ObamaCare mandates that insurers cover preventive services recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) with no cost sharing. This has turned the task force recommendations for doctors and patients into requirements on insurers and employers that will eventually lead to coverage for only those services that are required of them. This was proven valid in 2009 when the task force downgraded the strength of its recommendations for breast cancer screenings for women between ages 40 and 50. The controversy that ensured led Congress to overturn that recommendation through an amendment to Obamacare.
The USPSTF is only one of a few government agencies legally allowed to take cost into consideration when deciding whether to recommend a medical service. As health care costs rise and the government’s role grows, this could mean that cost will influence coverage.
Nothing is “free” and Obamacare’s “free” preventive services will still be paid for by the consumer. Insurers and employers will pass the cost of these “free” services to consumers through higher premiums. Cost estimates that accompanied ObamaCare regulations implementing the preventive services requirements project that those new requirements alone will increase premiums by an average of 1.5%. And, mandating that some services be provided with no patient cost-sharing will further disconnect consumers from the actual cost of care and increased use of those services, raising costs and premiums even higher.
Obamacare’s new age rating requirements allow a maximum variation in cost ratio of only 3 to 1 for adult premiums. Research shows that the natural variation by age in medical costs is about 5 to 1, meaning that the oldest groups of non-Medicare adults normally consumes about 5 times as much medical care as the youngest age group. But, this requirement will force insurers to charge lower premiums for older adults and higher premiums for younger adults, increasing premiums for ages 18-24 by 45% and ages 25-29 by 35% regardless of your gender.
The HHS mandate requiring insurance coverage for abortion inducting drugs, contraceptives and sterilization, also requires coverage of these benefits to minors without parental knowledge or consent.
ObamaCare expands governments authority over your health care choices through the Secretary of HHS. By 2020 more than half of all Americans will be dependent on the federal government for health care.