In Which I Correct A Forbes Contributor’s Math


Yeah….what if?

So there’s this article that was published in Forbes today that the right seems to be having a field day with and why not? On the face of it, it looks to predict doom, gloom and disaster for the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) as it will cost $7,450 for a typical family of four.

Before I address this, let me say a few words about Forbes Magazine.

Dear Forbes:

You suck.

There. I said a few words (or as few words) about Forbes Magazine. Now back to the drubbing of today’s Forbes contributor (whose name is Chris Conover), already in progress…

So having read the title of Mr. Conover’s Forbes article the first question that came to mind was how in the world did Mr. Conover arrive at this figure? Fortunately for me and a lot of inquisitive minds, we didn’t have to wait long or search wide for the answer he so generously provided in his own words:

So I have taken the latest year-by-year projections, divided by the projected U.S. population to determine the added amount per person and multiplied the result by 4.

Yeah, he really did this and when he speaks of year-by-year projections, keep in mind what he’s talking about is actual spending attributed to the Affordable Health Care act.

Everybody with me on this so far? Good! Because I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on this.

While I sit here thumbing through a PDF report that says that Obamacare will lead to “roughly $621 billion” in additional health spending over the next ten years, it most emphatically does not say it’s coming out of your family’s pocket.

So who pays?

Most of it will be paid out by insurance companies who will have a lot of new policyholders because of Obamacare. Much of it will be paid by the government in subsidies and increased Medicaid enrollment.

And yes, some of it will be paid by healthy, well-off and young people who would otherwise take a pass on health insurance and take a chance on not ever being brought to the hospital in an ambulance.

In other words, the Affordable Care Act will insure an estimated 30 million additional Americans over ten years at an additional cost of about $2,070 per additional insured per year and if my memory serves me correctly that’s actually a pretty good deal – better than the one you’re getting now.

And for those of you who are going to complain to me about how Obamacare is going to make your premiums go up, consider this: your lower rate was dependent on very sick people not being able to get any insurance at all or running into lifetime benefits caps and dying in destitution.

In total, out of that $621 billion we’re saving $119 billion over the next ten years. Maybe some of that can go to teaching the folks over at Forbes how to look at all the facts instead of just the facts that they want to look at.


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