Misadventures In Socialism – Bending The Health Insurance Cost Curve Upward

The New York Times cannot fathom why health insurance rates for small businesses and individuals are soaring when Obamacare promised to “bend the cost curve down” and save the average household $2,500 a year:

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…

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…

Under the health care law, regulators are now required to review any request for a rate increase of 10 percent or more; the requests are posted on a federal Web site, healthcare.gov, along with regulators’ evaluations….According to the federal analysis, 36 percent of the requests to raise rates by 10 percent or more were found to be reasonable. Insurers withdrew 12 percent of those requests, 26 percent were modified and another 26 percent were found to be unreasonable.

It never occurs to the Times that Obamacare mandates are in large part driving the health insurance cost curve upward.

obamacare

This is only the beginning.

Over a half trillion dollars in Obamacare taxes started hitting consumers on January 1. When the taxes the Democrat Congress imposed are not enough, the Obamacare bureaucracy unconstitutionally imposes new taxes and calls them “fees.”

Next year, Obamacare mandates that businesses and individuals either buy government designed health insurance or pay hefty fines.

The best laid plans of mice and socialists…

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About Bart DePalma

Bart DePalma is a solo country attorney practicing in the mountain town of Woodland Park, CO. Bart publishes the Citizen Pamphleteer blog and his new book Never Allow A Crisis To Go To Waste: Barack Obama and the Evolution of American Socialism was released December 2011. View all posts by Bart DePalma

2 responses to “Misadventures In Socialism – Bending The Health Insurance Cost Curve Upward

  • AC Points

    Our group health plan asked for and got a base rate increase of just over 10% this year from the state. According to their filing which I read online they attribute 1/2 of 1 percent of that to the ACA.

    Every year some plans and some people see rates go up as much as 20%. That’s hardly new. Our small group plan for 11 employees increased over 20% this year. Of course we had a breast cancer surgery and a heart surgery and surprise surprise our rates went way up. According to Kaiser the average yearly increase for the 10 years prior to the ACA was a little over 7%. From 2004 to 2010 our rates increased an average of 14%, with as little as 6% and as much as 18%. In the last two years since the ACA was passed we had 18% in 2011 and 4.8% in 2012.

    So the key for someone who wants to discuss this subject intelligently is to try and determine the amount that is the result of the ACA vs other factors. I’m sure there will be a lot of people who will prefer to attribute all the increases to the ACA because that will fit their political views.

    • Bart DePalma

      Our group health plan asked for and got a base rate increase of just over 10% this year from the state. According to their filing which I read online they attribute 1/2 of 1 percent of that to the ACA.

      HHS now runs the insurance industry and SecHHS has repeatedly threatened to exclude from the government exchanges insurers who cite Obamacare as the basis for their premium increases. Blue state governments in CN and elsewhere retaliated on behalf of HHS. The insurers got the message.

      Health insurance inflation for the individual market where most of the Obamacare mandates were imposed was 2.5% in 2010 and then soared to 9% in 2011 and has been in the high single digits since then. ALL of these mandates cost money.

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