Health Care Cost Increase Is Projected for New Law
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: April 23, 2010
WASHINGTON — A government analysis of the new health care law says it will not slow the overall growth of health spending because the expansion of insurance and services to 34 million people will offset cost reductions in Medicare and other programs.
The study, by the chief Medicare actuary, Richard S. Foster, provides a detailed, rigorous analysis of the law.
In signing the measure last month, President Obama said it would “bring down health care costs for families and businesses and governments.”
But Mr. Foster said, “Overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion,” or nine-tenths of 1 percent, compared with the amounts that would otherwise be spent from 2010 to 2019.
In his report, sent to Congress Thursday night, Mr. Foster said that some provisions of the law, including cutbacks in Medicare payments to health care providers and a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored coverage, would slow the growth of health costs. But he said the savings “would be more than offset through 2019 by the higher health expenditures resulting from the coverage expansions.”