Recession, Not Obamacare, To Thank for Lower 2013 Health Costs

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In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama proclaimed that, “Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs” in the United States. “And the reforms I’m proposing go even further,” he continued. “We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital. They should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive.”

Mirroring his words, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services told Bloomberg via email that the health care reform “holds insurers accountable for cost increases and encourages smarter care, two factors which are contributing to the slowdown of growth in costs. Already consumers have saved billions of dollars in premiums thanks to the rate review, medical-loss ratio provisions, and policies to promote quality and value in Medicare.”

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