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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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June 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Any Government run system will NEVER produce savings. The Government can't run anything.....It produces nothing.....It is non-competitive....It's sole responsibility is to protect the people and the country.

Elizabeth Gayle
June 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm

I suppose the state you live in could have influence on your opinion. My husband & I own a small business in a state that has no competition between Medical Insurance Companies. One company has had over 85% of the market here for over 50 years. When we first opened our business, we could not find a company that sold individual policies. To get insurance one of us had to take an awful job to get the benefit. Then we found an individual policy @ over $1200/month EACH, that did not cover squat. Thus, I think the new law will be great. We just have to stay well and keep saving that $2400/mo until 2014. We are more than willing to pay for it. Ask any small business owner, it is not in our nature to expect any free rides, but we will not pay that kind of $$ for a rip-off.

June 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm

What a crock.

Under health care reform we should be happy that the average family premium will only increase by 46.5% by 2019?

Under true health care reform, maybe the premium would not go up at all, maybe decrease, not almost double.

And considering how accurate medical cost projections have been in the past, then a 46.5% increase may be too low an estimate.

Jack “In the Box” Swanson
June 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I bet any money that Mr. Jack Swanson is another Tea Party Loonie talking from out of his own behind. Keep trusting the lunatics and their corporate friends lke BP.

pat villa
June 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm

It doesn't matter what the Obama appointee report says on paper.... when the real family that has to deal with real health premiums adds up the cost in the next few years, we will be paying more and more not less and less.

June 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Absolutley should have! NOT PERFECT BUT A START!! Can't believe so any opposed to it. We are paying for everyone anyway so all should get.

My aunt in Canada told me yesterday that she loves her healthcare. (I have worked in healthcare both in Canada and US and any horror stories from Canada can be topped by horror stories down here. Just have to be your own advocate. (My great great great grandfather fought in 1776. He would be backing ths healthcare.)
Money spent freeing Iraquis could have everyone here getting healthcare--and we gave $$$ FOR ALL IRAQUIS TO HAVE HEALTH CARE!!

Trina in Canada
June 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

You are screwed under this plan if you are over 50, but healthy. You will pay unfathomable premiums.

Linda in California
June 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I think the government is doing very horrible things to the future of our country, among of which is the Obamanation called health care reform. Enough BIG government! This was probably illegal how it was passed and I think it is an outrage that it was not even read before passing. If I could I would through them all out of office and start over. Then do the same in Sacramento!

June 11, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Mr. MacDonald:

I am disappointed in for employing someone as clueless and obviously ideologically driven as you. Anyone who takes anything from CAP as gospel is either gullible or part of the progressive cabal (really Marxists as far as the power structure behind the movement goes). We just had credible reports that the picture is even worse than what the supporters of this disaster led the public to believe. Scty. Sebelius (and others) need to be investigated for sitting on a critical report just before the vote in congress because they deemed it controversial and did not want to confuse things for the congressmen. All that is even before the trickery comes in to play: likes of not including the doc fix, factoring in 10 years of revenues against only 6 years of expenses, etc...

If you had any intelligence and basic economic knowledge, you too would understand that you cannot interfere in the free markets, make a service more accessible and suffer no consequences. There will be more demand, fewer doctors, therefore higher prices and eventually rationing to keep it semi-viable.

Bankrate needs to examine the competency of its staff!

Jack Swanson
June 08, 2010 at 3:51 pm

You're goofy if you think the government plan is going to be a "neat deal" for all. What a crock...listen, did you know, health insureres will still be able to deny you coverage due to a pre-condition...yes, you uninformed dope, they just have to pay a $100 per month fine on you and they can deny freakin' liberals, you're so gullible and such a bunch of Gawd Dam Losers.