Former House Health Subcommittee Chairman: Health Care Costs Will Rise Due to New Law But Slower Than Before

By Nicholas Ballasy | January 21, 2011 | 3:37 PM EST

( - Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), the former chairman of the House Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee, told he believes health care costs will increase under President Barack Obama’s health care law but more slowly than they have in the past. asked Rep. Andrews about a Health and Human Services Department report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary that says the new health care law will increase health care spending by about one percent or more over the next ten years.

“I disagree with that assessment because I don’t think it takes into account the value of competition in the insurance market and the value of preventive care that will save a lot of money in the long run,” he told in an interview at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Rep. Robert Andrews AP Photo

“We just heard a lady in here testify that she hadn’t gotten breast cancer screenings and colonoscopies and other tests because she couldn’t afford it. Now that these tests are available without a co-pay under Medicare, she’ll get these tests and the money that we’ll save if she doesn’t have a developed malignancy or develop a serious problem I think is not properly accounted for in that report that you cite.”

Andrews was also asked if he sees health care costs rising due to the new health care law.

“I think that health care costs will go up much more slowly than they’ve gone up in the past. They’ve been going up at an average of about 8 or 9 percent per year in the economy – not health insurance premiums but health care costs and I think you’re going to find that that cost will be bent back to a 5 or 6% over the next 10 or 20 years,” he said.