The Washington Times - March 21, 2013, 08:47AM

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has pushed back at Republican claims that President Obama’s health care reforms are draining the economy, saying “Obamacare” has lowered Medicare and private insurance costs significantly.

Mrs. Sebelius told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Thursday that Medicare costs are significantly lower than before the president’s health care reform law was passed in 2010.


“The cost trajectory is down. In fact, last year, the cost of Medicare went up less than 1 percent per beneficiary,” she said.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform

As for complaints that private insurance companies have been raising rates in many states, including California, Mrs. Sebelius said that rate increases are slowing and that consumers are “finally getting a better bang for their buck.”

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform

“In the 10 years before Obamacare was signed into law, what we saw was double-digit increases year in and year out,” she said. Now “we’ve seen far fewer double-digit increases in the last three years than in the previous decade.”

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform