The report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which found that the cost of employer-provided family plans increased by 9 percent to an average of $15,073 in 2011, put the White House on defense a day after it became more likely that the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law before the 2012 election.
It showed healthcare costs are rising much faster than U.S. wages and salaries or the rate of inflation. The steep costs could put an extra pinch on households struggling through an extended housing crisis and high unemployment.
Republicans were quick to point out that President Obama during his presidential campaign made the ill-conceived promise that health reform would lower premiums by $2,500.
“As this survey shows, the president's promise that his partisan health law would lower costs was just empty rhetoric,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the top Republican on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement. “The fact is employers aren't hiring, in large part, because they have to spend more and more money on health insurance.”