When a company manager asked President Obama about his company’s rising health care costs on Friday, Obama’s first response was to blame the company.
Speaking at Millennium Steel Services in Princeton, Indiana, the president said that if the company’s health insurance costs were still rising, the management simply isn’t “shopping” correctly.
“We are seeing almost a double-digit increase in health-care costs every year,” Millennium Steel general manager Mihir Paranjape told President Obama. “Do you think that trend is going to go down, and what can we do to control that trend?”
“I think that’s really interesting, you’re gonna have to talk to Henry,” Obama replied, referring to Henry Jackson, Millennium Steel’s CEO. “No, no, no, this is serious,” he continued, when several audience members laughed, “The question is whether you guys are shopping effectively enough.”
Obama claimed that health care premiums are growing at the lowest rate in the past 50 years.
According to every Federal Reserve Bank that has released such a report, businesses say that their health care costs are growing due to the health care law. The New York Federal Reserve says a majority of businesses are planning for Obamacare to increase the cost of their health coverage; the Philadelphia Fed noted that Obamacare is keeping many more businesses from hiring.
The Dallas and Atlanta Federal Reserve Banks have come to similar conclusions. (RELATED: Federal Reserve Banks Agree Obamacare Is Hurting Business)
An American Health Policy Institute study co-authored by former Health and Human Services deputy secretary Tevi Troy and economist Mark Wilson found earlier this year that large businesses will face cost increases of between $4,800 and $5,900 per employee over the next ten years, solely due to the health-care law.