John Ransom

That means that that 12 percent of our GDP will be dedicated to federal government payments servicing debt and healthcare by 2023 assuming the sunshine and roses predictions of the CBO on GDP growth after 2013.

There is reason to doubt those assumptions.

Already Obamacare, which was scored by the CBO as a deficit-reducing program, has seen private insurance rates skyrocket. The Kaiser Family Health Foundation has found private healthcare insurance premiums have risen over 24 percent in 2012. 

Even employer-sponsored plans aren’t immune from inflation. It turns out that when the federal government tells insurance companies that they must cover certain conditions, insurance companies need money to cover costs. In turn, that means they must raise rates.

Only career government types wouldn’t think of that- or better yet ignore it.  

“As we wrote in October,” says D’Angelo Gore, of, “the new law has caused about a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans because of requirements for increased benefits. Last year’s premium increases cast even more doubt on another promise the president has made — that the health care law would ‘lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.’” 

Just a few short years after passage of the most ambitious social welfare program ever, Congress, the public, economists and even supporters were dissatisfied.

There were questions about benefits; there were question about affordability; there were question of whether the plan was going to benefit anyone but the federal government.

That program of course was Social Security, which was billed as an insurance scheme as well.

“Since then its purchasers, the nation's taxpayers, have had occasion to read their policy carefully,” wrote Time Magazine in February of 1939, “and, if they have detected no outright jokers, their reaction has been such that practically every politician in the U. S. from Franklin Roosevelt down has put revision of Social Security at the top of his must list.”

Standby now for similar problems with Obamacare, because the law that was supposed to help control healthcare costs won’t do it and even the mainstream media, the White House and maybe –gasp- Ezra Klein are alive to this fact.  

“But will they slow down Medicare spending enough to make a dent in the tidal wave of spending as baby boomers retire?” ask Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn  of Politico in their fact check on the State of the Union. “Too soon to know — and the doubters aren’t all in the far right wing of the Republican party.”

But the doubters, like me, are there too. We've just been there longer.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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