Mary Taylor's Bogus Numbers
Ed. note: This article promoted from the forums...
Lt. Governor Mary Taylor's recent op-ed "Obamacare's staggering impact" cited the most inflated numbers since Enron’s cooked books. She said a study by Milliman, Inc. predicted the new Affordable Care Act would cause some premium rate hikes as high as 150%. Maybe Taylor hoped such stratospheric numbers would panic Ohioans into voting for Issue 3. If she considered the possibility that someone might check the numbers, she obviously thought the risks were worth the reward. Taylor’s numbers seemed suspiciously high to me. I did an internet search and found them to be completely bogus.
Taylor must not have known that Milliman, Inc. would make public its 2011 Milliman Medical Index. Nowhere in that eleven page May 2011 report are numbers approaching Taylor op-ed magnitude. In fact, that report said total health care costs had only increased 7.3% between 2010 and 2011 and that "Healthcare reform is an important dynamic but not the primary explanation or source of relief for ongoing health spending trends.” Other health insurance consulting firms forecast quite small increases in health insurance premiums due to the Affordable Care Act.
AON Hewitt, for example, said in its 2011 Health Insurance Trend Driver Survey, “Many PPACA (Affordable Care Act) impacts will first be largely reflected in 2011, with average projected impacts [increases] by line of business ranging from 0.8% to 4.7%”. A Cleveland Plain Dealer article quoted Robert J. Klonk, president of the Oswald Cos., an insurance consulting business, as saying the new healthcare law would account for rate hikes “somewhere between 1 ½ and 3%” and quoted Gary Claxton, V.P. of the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation as saying that, for health plans already in existence, "increases of 1½ % might be a stretch.”
There is a big difference between 4.7% and 150%. In the light of these more reasonable numbers, the Taylor op-ed seems tinged with hysteria, a modern day grown-ups version of the children’s “the sky is falling” story. How could Taylor, a Certified Public Accountant, have gotten such a distorted view of the numbers? Maybe she read the Milliman report through tears, tears of gratitude for the nearly $3 million that the healthcare and insurance industries had poured into the 2010 Kasich/Taylor campaign. If Obama’s Affordable Care Act is implemented, these campaign donor companies will lose lots of money. They pay obscene salaries to their executives and high dividends to their shareholders and they do not want to be held to the high standards demanded by the new Healthcare law.
Through the widespread publication of her op-ed, Mrs. Taylor made a public sacrifice of her credibility and became Ohio’s most deserving member of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-on-Fire.
Mount Gilead, OH