Health care reform proves more costly

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Deciphering the fallout of the health care legislation is a daunting task that has only just begun.

Take, for instance, a news report by the Associated Press on Tuesday, explaining that health insurance premiums for young people could rise as much as 42 percent when the full legislation takes effect.

Because of the caps placed on insurance companies’ premiums charged to older Americans, insurers will be forced to reallocate the cost of insurance across all age groups. That means healthy, young adults (those in the 25 to 35 age range) who typically enjoyed the lowest monthly premiums because they represented by and large the smallest drain on the insurers’ claims, will now be forced to pay more for their coverage. And that can mean up to $500 a year, roughly $42 per month, according to some calculations.

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In real dollars, that’s a significant amount of a young person’s budget.

Of course, this isn’t the only real-world impact we’re discovering in the wake of this bill’s passage. Just this week, some businesses have reported projections of up to $1 billion in losses due to changes in tax breaks relating to the health care bill – a figure so staggering that it has prompted congressional leaders to summon executives of AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar and John Deere to testify before a Congressional committee on April 21.

As with any legislation, the true impact of this massive health care reform is only just now beginning to be understood, as the public and those most affected by the changes seek to understand just how those changes will play out.

Unfortunately, this health care reform could prove to be much more costly to the American public – in both direct and indirect costs – than we first anticipated.