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The upside of Obamacare

By Jay MacDonald ·
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Posted: 11 am ET

Amid all the Punch-and-Judy punditry surrounding President Barack Obama’s historic passage of health care reform, somehow we lost sight of what it’s likely to save living, breathing Americans across the economic and political spectrum on health insurance.

(Photo courtesy The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending, Center for American Progress and The Commonwealth Fund, May 2010.)

A new report, “The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending” released by the nonprofit Center for American Progress, or CAP, and the Commonwealth Fund seeks to correct this oversight, caused in part by the media’s singular focus on the bill’s impact on the federal budget.

What? Good news about health reform? The nerve!

But yes, according to the report, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will result in:

  • Total reductions in health care spending of $590 billion from 2010 to 2019.
  • Reduction in the annual growth rate in national health expenditures from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent from 2010 to 2019.
  • A savings of nearly $2,000 on annual health care premiums for the typical family by 2019.
  • Deficit reduction of up to $400 billion over 10 years.
  • Medicare savings of $524 billion.

Would you like to shave $2,000 off your health insurance bill? I know I would.

The report says the new health insurance rules, combined with innovations to provider payment and delivery systems, will drive costly inefficiencies from the health system and improve access to care for millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans.

David Cutler, a CAP Senior Fellow and Harvard economist who co-authored the report, calls health reform “the most significant piece of health care cost-reducing legislation ever passed in the United States.”

His co-author, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis, concurs: “With passage of the Affordable Care Act we have entered a new era in American health care -- one in which all Americans will be able to get the care they need, and in which families will be protected from high health care costs.”

Those savings predictions, should they come to pass, sound pretty significant, especially given that health care costs by most accounts were previously headed through the roof.

You can learn more about buying health insurance in our Insurance Basics and compare health insurance plans at, a Bankrate company.

Now that the pundits have moved on, how do you feel about Obamacare?

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July 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

The problem is not the health care plan . The problem is that some don't want to give it a chance. Your premium increase has nothing to do with the health care plan ,it has barley been in effect.All you want to do is just say NO to everything this adm.tries.

Jay MacDonald
June 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Hi, Earl. I feel your pain; my health care premium goes up twice a year, no rhyme or reason. But I don't think we can blame it on Obamacare, which as you can see by this recent Bankrate story by my colleague Claes Bell won't kick into gear for months if not years. What I do suspect, and perhaps you sense as well, is that health insurers are nudging our rates up proactively in anticipation of somewhat leaner days ahead. I'm hoping we both see some relief soon from the seemingly capricious rate inceases that we've come to expect from our health insurance providers. Good health to you!

June 17, 2010 at 2:27 am

my bcbs of floridia just went up 25% after an earlier 15% increase this year. If thats obamacare then you can have it. its gone up more in the last 4 months than the last 5 years and I have not used it. last december my premiums for myself, wife and one sun were 680 now they are 1008 for July. I plan on voting my check book come election time

June 12, 2010 at 7:14 am

This will become the joke of the century as time goes by ...

You can't get 25% of the country to purchase car insurance, let alone health care .. the government can't patch a hole in the ocean, let alone manage a health care package ... does Obama and his flunkys really think they'll get millions upon millions of consumers to pay for a "health care reform" package that the vast majority doesn't want.??

Can anyone spell the word "Greece" ... that's what our future will look like after more of these Obama blunders.