Echoing Committees’ Recent Findings, HHS Secretary Confesses Premiums Will Increase Under New Health Care Law, Breaking President Obama’s Promise to Lower Costs

March 27, 2013

WASHINGTON, DCReuters yesterday reported, “President Obama’s top health care adviser acknowledged on Tuesday that costs could rise in the individual health insurance market, particularly for men and younger people, because of provisions of the landmark 2010 health care measure due to take effect next year.” The comments echo the recent findings published in the joint House-Senate report, "The Price of Obamacare's Broken Promises: Young Adults and Middle Class Families Set to Endure Higher Premiums and Unaffordable Coverage."

While talking to reporters, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted  “It's sort of a one to one shift ... some of the older customers may see a slight decline, and some of the younger ones are going to see a slight increase." She added, "These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market."

Meanwhile, the Society of Actuaries released a new report that also predicts looming premium increases, projecting an average increase of 32 percent by 2017 in the individual market as a result of provisions on the health care law, specifically citing higher claim costs and other factors. 

The report released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, along with the Senate Finance and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees, explained the premium increases are a result of the law’s mandates, price controls, fees, and taxes. As noted in the joint report, “President Obama’s promise that premiums would decrease by $2,500 has been broken. Since 2008, the average family premium has instead grown by over $3,000. Even more shocking is that these increases occurred before Obamacare’s most costly requirements go into effect in 2014.”