No self-proclaimed good deed goes unpunished.
President Obama's effort to get 7 million Americans signed up through the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, was a success if you look at the numbers (but it was a failure if you saw the horrible online execution).
Some experts say Obamacare has already slowed the out-of-control increase in medical-care costs we've seen in the last few decades. But a new Santa Monica-based think tank says there's an added bonus for your wallet:
Car insurance rates could decrease. Wait, you ask, how would that work?
According to a Rand study, “How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” released this week, auto, workers' comp and business liability insurance premiums could shrink because some health care bills included in claims might now covered under Obamacare.
Liability insurance companies reimburse tens of billions of dollars each year for medical care related to auto accidents, workplace injuries and other types of claims. For example, auto insurers collectively paid $35 billion for medical costs associated with accidents in 2007 …
But some of those costs may be covered by regular health insurance as more Americans become newly covered under the Affordable Care Act …
… Costs of liability insurance could be reduced further if reforms aimed at driving down health care costs are successful
Researchers caution that the savings would likely be “modest” and that medical malpractice costs might actually go up:
… An increase in the number of people using the health care system may trigger a corresponding increase in the number of medical malpractice claims made against physicians and other health care providers …
David Auerbach, the study's lead author and a policy researcher at Rand:
The Affordable Care Act is unlikely to dramatically affect liability costs, but it may influence small and moderate changes in costs over the next several years. For example, auto insurers may spend less for treating injuries …
Of course, there's a lot of wishful thinking in believing California's greedy car insurance companies would actually pass on any Obamacare savings to us.