Grapevine: Is Obamacare lowering health care costs?

New reports indicate spending rose last year


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Spending on the Rise

New reports indicate health care spending rose last year, despite the Obama administration goal to lower costs.

Customers with employer sponsored insurance spent 4.6 percent more last year -- compared to 2010 -- when there was a 3.8 percent growth rate.

The Department of Health and Human Services insists so far the law has saved consumers a billion dollars because it discourages insurance companies from arbitrarily raising rates.

Meantime, a new industry study shows 20 percent of small business owners are thinking about dropping employee health insurance due to a rise in cost.

And a survey released this summer indicated that one in every 10 employers plan to drop health care coverage for employees

Oh, Canada

The same day that Iran's president is in the U.S. for a visit to the United Nations -- that country's foreign ministry issued a travel warning -- for Iranians in Canada.

The state-controlled News Agency reports-- the warning says Iranians who visit Canada risk arrest -- attacks -- expulsion -- and murder.

It also proclaims-- "Islam-phobia and Iran-phobia have not stopped in Canada."

Canadian foreign affairs minister John Baird said quote "I think it's absolutely ridiculous and I think 99 percent of Canadians would share that view."

Earlier this month -- Canada closed its embassy in Tehran and expelled Iranian diplomats.

Cracking Down

Finally, a New Jersey lawmaker wants to crack down on filming of reality TV shows -- such as "Jersey Shore."

The legislation would allow towns to require TV crews to pay for extra police presence during filming -- and set other conditions.

The bill is called the Snookiville Law -- named after a "Jersey Shore" cast member.

They were often shown drunk and loud in public -- and involved in scuffles.

No comment so far from MTV or Snooki.