CNN's Gupta: 'Some Analysts' Suggest ObamaCare Spiked Health Care Costs

When pressed to confirm that "some analysts" are blaming ObamaCare for higher health insurance costs, CNN's chief medical correspondent admitted that indeed they are "suggesting" Obama's Affordable Care Act is to blame.

Sanjay Gupta, once considered by President Obama for surgeon general, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that according to "some analysts," mandates from ObamaCare have been behind the recent spike in health care costs and premiums.

Blitzer asked him "Effectively, these people are at least blaming President Obama and the Democrats' health care reform law – it is now the law of the land – for this dramatic spike this year?" Gupta affirmed that premise. "That's what some analysts are suggesting, that when there's a bunch of things that are going to sort of take place next year."

He mentioned that, among other things, a mandate that insurance companies justify a 10 percent or more increase in premiums is contributing to the rise in costs. Also, employers are shifting more costs to the consumers in the form of higher deductibles and co-pays.

"Yes, that's what a lot of Republicans point out, this is discouraging big companies from hiring more people because of the costs of health care that are going up and up and up," Blitzer concluded.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on September 28 at 6:02 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[6:02]

WOLF BLITZER: Effectively, these people are at least blaming President Obama and the Democrats' health care reform law – it is now the law of the land – for this dramatic spike this year? Is that what you're hearing?

SANJAY GUPTA: That's what some analysts are suggesting, that when there's a bunch of things that are going to sort of take place next year. One is that you have to justify increases in premiums of 10 percent or more, but they're also going to have to show as part of this that more of their health care dollars they're taking in are being spent on health care.

I think 80 cents on the dollar has to be shown proven to be spent on health care. And what's not being spent on health care, or matching that equation, has to be given back. One other thing, Wolf, you mentioned that there's about roughly $4,000 that individuals will pay or families will pay, even though the premium is $15,000. So employers are covering a lot of that.

But there's something else happening as well, there's a sort of cost shifting going on. So while your premium may not have gone up, you notice higher deductibles, you notice higher co-pays. And this is because employers are saying look, we don't want to cancel insurance outright, but we're going to cost shift more and more to the consumer and especially to those consumers who are using more health care.

So there's all sorts of different dynamics going on here, Wolf, but an increase in premiums overall as you said at the core of all of it.

BLITZER: Yes, that's what a lot of Republicans point out, this is discouraging big companies from hiring more people because of the costs of health care that are going up and up and up.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014