**Written by Doug Powers
“The only thing we’re going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost savings are passed onto you. And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.” – Barack Obama, October 2008
Eventually the “affordable” portion of the “Affordable Care Act” kicks in, right? RIGHT?
Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.
Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.
In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013. These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.
In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders. The rate increases can amount to several hundred dollars a month.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, because before long premiums will start skyrocketing faster than taxes go up in Nancy Pelosi’s dreams.
At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey makes some points about why this kind of thing was inevitable.
“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” – Thomas Sowell
**Written by Doug Powers
Private insurance carriers are raising their rates and at the same time Long Term Care providers have not only raised their rates on their policyholders but have more than doubled them!
Obamacare, in its "infant" stage has also raised their rates.
We are witnessing a tsunami.....in the making.
What part of "free services" and mandates like no caps and pushing situations that can't be unwritten properly like allowing those with per-existing conditions to enroll in insurance when the need arises not cause higher premiums? When you screw up the insurance market like ObamaCare and the HHS has done with idiotic dictates then "affordable" becomes a bad joke. Now that we see what the "affordable" part of ObamaCare looks like, just wait until we see what the "patient protection" part of that farce brings us as more of health care comes under ObamaCare "rules".
John, it is the insurance companies cashing in on one more opportuinity to get more from the people they insure, pure and simple and this is the objection to Obamacare in the first place. HE was turning the control even more to the insurance companies and allowing this to happen. There is nothing affordable in Obamacare; those of us on Medicare saw this over the past year, as have those in the military or retirees from the military; we just had the opportunity to experience it before the rest of the people. We should start to hear a lot of crying from those that are now beginning to experience it, the families with children. Maybe they will come to the party and support the repeal of this expensive and failed legislation. People don't see the truth until it hits their wallet; then things begin to change fast.
Can I get an "Amen" for Sister Linda?
No "Amen" since the whole design of ObamaCare is to ultimately destroy private insurance of all types and push us all on some form of more costly and less effective government "health care" program. Keep in mind that both Medicare and to an even greater extent Medicaid leach off of the private health care and health insurance system by not paying for the full costs of some services. What ObamaCare has done is impose a whole host of mandates that drive up care costs and that drives up insurance rates. You need to keep in mind that health insurance has been one of the most regulated, least competitive, and in many states most dictated forms of insurance. The Feds dictated that health insurance was controlled by the states and did not allow interstate commerce in that area of the insurance market. States then control rates AND COVERAGE OFFERINGS via state agencies and some have mandated very expensive coverages. Now HHS has come along and mandated more "free" coverage like "women's health services" and limited insurance coverage operations even more that make the "insurance" part of health insurance increasingly meaningless if you know how insurance should operate. They have also taken the worse part of state mandates and made them Federal which is why a policy covers both "care" for prostate screenings and follow up care for prostrate conditions and mammograms and cervical cancer screening no matter the sex of the insurance policy holder. They have also expanded coverage in areas that include mental health, substance abuse, 'preventive medicine", etc that drive up costs especially when some are considered "free" services. At the same time they have dictated how much insurance companies must pay from total premium receipts for services as opposed to operating costs and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, what needs to be put in contingency funds for unexpected payments like a flu epidemic or similar surge in payments beyond the normal underwriting expected payments for services. That particular mandate actually violated some of the standards that states had set for health insurance companies for contingency funds. When evaluating ObamaCare and insurance companies you need to know how insurance operates and how the market for health insurance as well as health care service delivery has been skewed by past government actions. Sorry, but dictates and "freebies" drive up payment costs and that has to be reflected in premiums. You need to understand that the purpose of the mandate that everyone have health insurance was to push more money into the system to level the playing field on care delivery and to allow the government to control who got what in the way of "care".
The main thing about insurance reform that I support wholeheartedly is the requirement to insure people with preexisting conditions and expensive conditions.
Without this coverage, people who don't qualify for medicaid can lose their homes and their savings.
I know this will bump premiums. And I know this opinion might be unpopular.
Elizabeth: Now supposedly there was legislation that already existed to cover that aspect of "reform" and a pool of funds to support that which hasn't had the traffic that it was supposed to have, but coverage for preexisting conditions when losing or changing insurance is an area that deserves consideration. The overall problem, however, is that so many people fail to understand that if you change underwriting considerations for that situation and remove caps on payments making total payments unknown, if you add "free services" or expand coverage for additional services for all, if you reduce co-pays, if you raise costs on service providers for such things as taxes on device manufacturers or fines for hospitals for readmission rates, and mess with the costs of providing services and/or insurance coverage, then premiums will go up because overall costs are going up. Not sure why so many fail to see that there wasn't anything "affordable' in the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. But then, there really wasn't anything as to "health care" in the act at all except mandates to not charge for certain "services".
John, have you read the PPAAC from front to back? Do you know where the regulations came from as to what is covered and what is not, etc.? Have you talked to anyone in the medical profession as to what they see regarding insurance companies and their role in this new legislation? Didn't think so.
Linda: I know how insurance operates. I know that health insurance has been a STATE controlled product for years and has oversight from state insurance agencies which includes what is covered/what is offered/what can be charged. I know that health insurance is a combination of private companies some that are for profit/some mutual/some non profit, self insurers like some large companies and some large establishments like some of the Catholic operations that brought suit about the mandatory contraceptive/abortion coverage, government programs at both the Federal and state level, and even some groups (like colleges that offered students low rate health insurance) that form a collective to purchase coverage as a large group to obtain better rates. I also know that a lot of what occurs under the alleged "Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care" Act is up to dictates by the HHS Secretary (as we saw from the contraception mandate) so it is never a final product. It sure is hard for a business that is providing health insurance for their employees or an entity writing health insurance coverage to determine what their liability may be if the target can move at any time and insurance companies are prohibited by law from developing the reserves that may be require to meet unknown requirements like no caps. It sure sounds like from many of the comments on this that ObamaCare isn't a problem but insurance companies are the sole problem with high costs! Not sure why that is so if you have taxes that raise costs, mandates that raise costs, unknowns that likely will raise costs, etc. You don't have to read the act to know from what has happened and applying some logic to the whole situation to see that rates have to go up since required coverages has gone up.