President Barack Obama claimed that “Obamacare” would cost $900 billion. That was not true because the bill was written to trick the Congressional Budget Office scoring. In a similar fashion, the cost of “Obamacare’s” taxes, fees and mandates are hidden in health insurance premiums.

The Advocate has blamed the governor for the rising cost of heath insurance for state workers and retirees without acknowledging the hidden costs of “Obamacare” in health insurance. A law enacted to regulate health insurance in America also regulates policies for state workers and increases their health insurance cost.

In 2014, the federal government increased the cost of health insurance by $8 billion through an insurers tax. This tax increased the cost of health insurance premiums by 2.3 percent in its first year and gradually increases premiums by 3.7 percent after a decade. The insurers tax increases the cost of health insurance by $60 billion through a decade.

In 2014, a temporary reinsurance fee, costing $63 per covered person, increased the cost of group health insurance. The fee decreases to $50 in 2015. This fee increases the cost of group health insurance by $25 billion through a decade. The fee redistributes money from group health insurance to individual health insurance inside and outside the government exchanges.

Insurers are charged a $2 fee per person insured to fund the federal Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. This institute is a mechanism for federal control of health care practices. This fee may be increased for medical inflation.

“Obamacare” mandates increases the cost of health insurance. Among the mandates: no one can be denied coverage; no annual caps on benefits.; There is a cost associated with each mandate, and policyholders pay the increased costs through their health insurance premiums.

Other “Obamacare” taxes increase the costs of health care, indirectly increasing the cost of health insurance. “Obamacare” increases the cost of prescription drugs through a $22.2 billion tax, and it increases the cost of medical devices by $20 billion through a 2.3 percent excise tax.

“Obamacare” assesses a special $400 million tax hike on Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Blue Cross/Blue Shield provides health insurance for most state workers. Again, taxes usually are passed on to consumers through higher insurance premiums.

According to the CBO, “Obamacare” adds almost $800 billion in taxes from 2013 to 2022. The level of taxation increases to almost $120 billion a year by 2022. Advocate writers have ignored the hidden costs of “Obamacare” taxes, fees, and mandates and unfairly blamed the governor for all the cost increases in health insurance for state workers and retirees.

Scuddy LeBlanc

retired extension educator