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The ACA does nothing to reduce health care costs in the U.S.

. . .is unsustainable

The affordable care act is GREAT at helping get people insured!

This is WONDERFUL!!!

but it does NOTHING to reduce future health care costs.

in fact. . .

Health care spending growth hits 10-year high

Apr 1, 2014

Health care spending rose at the fastest pace in 10 years last quarter, a development that could foreshadow higher costs for consumers this year.

. . .

Driving the increase was an $8 billion rise in hospital revenue - more than the previous four quarters combined, according to the Census Bureau and Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS economist Omair Sharif says the increase in hospitals' income was puzzling because the number of inpatient days dipped 1% during the fourth quarter.


While the U.S. government subsidizes the for-profit insurance companies to the tune of a Trillion dollars. . .

The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.



The recent explosion of health care costs in the United States over the last decade has allowed the health care equipment and pharmaceutical industry to be some of the most profitable in the country.  The Affordable Care Act, having locked in these profits has allowed them ALL to increase their dividends and/or stock buyback programs.

Health Care Industry Profits and Dividend/Stock Buyback Increases

•    Amgen (biotechnology): Profit margin, 30.6 percent
•    Gilead Sciences(biotechnology): Profit margin, 37.6 percent
•    Celgene Corp. (biotechnology): Profit margin, 11.9 percent
•    Johnson & Johnson(drug manufacturer): Profit margin, 20.8 percent
•    Pfizer (drug manufacturer): Profit margin, 16.3 percent
•    GlaxoSmithKline (drug manufacturer): Profit margin, 17.4 percent
•    Quest Diagnostics(healthcare services): Profit margin, 8.7 percent
•    Medtronic (medical equipment): Profit margin, 14.9 percent
•    Baxter International(medical equipment): Profit margin, 17.5 percent
•   Covidien(medical equipment): Profit margin, 12.3 percent

These stock buybacks and dividend increases reflect this "gift" to the investor class as the profits are now "locked in" by the Affordable Care Act


This, in an environment of declining incomes for the lowest 80% of the country.


U.S. household incomes show declines for the bottom 80% of wealthiest households.  Later trends show that this collapse is increasing!

This is not sustainable under any circumstance!



While this bill has allowed many uninsured to have the economic security of insurance (a good thing!) In reality all it has done is expand the pool of payees into a large cauldron of price gouging and cemented the long, slow, collapse of the U.S. middle class.



ObamaCare can only fix these issue if ObamaCare is fixed itself

  1. Allow states to negotiate bulk purchases of prescription drugs
  2. Remove patent extensions on pharmaceuticals to allow generic production earlier
  3. outlaw the pharmaceutical industry advertisement of their products (.  .  .ask your doctor!)
  4. offer a VIBRANT PUBLIC OPTION in every state in the country
  5. mandate that all U.S. public and private hospitals accept all health care policies offered on the exchange.
  6. institute a windfall profits tax on all health care system participants, turn the U.S. health care system into a regulated industry.

12:16 PM PT:
In the comments below Lady Libertine said:


and the timing couldn't be worse... if you think in terms low and middle income, middle class folks, who are struggling right now and with lots of them Boomers heading into retirement and their offspring Millenials looking at college debt and a dismal job market. Its such a lethal combination to bash both groups in the kneecaps with this added burden, makes one wonder if it's being done on purpose to eradicate the middle class altogether.

--I couldn't agree more.
Paperboard Containers is a very reliable proxy for domestic economy performance,  There has been no real recovery since 2008.

Sun Apr 06, 2014 at  2:41 AM PT: Woke up in the middle of the night and realized that there was a big part of this diary that was missing.  The link to the news article about Healthcare Spending Growth hits 10-year high had a question:

"What is causing hospital costs to go up by 8% but overnight stays (in October-December of 2013. . .the months when open registration began) to go down by 1%?"

and I realized the answer, in the dark, and got up to make this update.

It is very possible that this is the first indication that the insurance companies have entered into collusion with the hospital service providers to allow higher charges on services and allowing the insurance industry to keep a higher portion of the total insurance premium (with subsidies) take.  This would be the behind the scenes scam that the gaming of the ACA has provided for these (literal) vampires.

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