I was in a meeting last Monday and one of my bosses allowed as how we ought to be planning for the repeal of ObamaCare. Not planning for that as a contingency but planning for the certainty of an overturn of the law by the Supreme Court. I was glad to see that the Obama administration is pressing for an early ruling on the mandate. This should put an end to speculation of what might happen.

On the other hand, maybe there is an advantage to planning based on supposition. The  Kaiser Family Foundation reported an increase in health care costs for privately insured folks as well this week. Despite some media reports to the contrary, only 2% of the  increase could be blamed on ObamaCare. The rest is due to the following:

These premiums were generally set in 2010, when insurance companies thought medical costs would be significantly higher than they turned out to be. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the health insurance employer cost index (a measure of the price of health care services) was the lowest it has been in over 10 years in the first half of 2011. Additionally, some insurers assumed  that the Affordable Care Act would dramatically raise their costs. In the end, both assumptions were wrong – but insurance companies still charged high premiums and earned impressive profits. Wall Street analysts’ review of results from the first quarter of 2011 found that 13 of the top 14 health insurers exceeded their earnings expectations, with profits that were over 45 percent higher than estimated.

Or, in other words, their record profits were based on supposition. Maybe my bosses should take some lessons.

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