Unexpected rise in health care premiums

Now who could have seen this coming? Obama PROMISED us that he was going to make health care more affordable. Health care reform was going to help everyone. Except for the very wealthy, of course.

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.

These and other insurers say Congress’s landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted.

Nine percent. Oh, but it gets worse.

Many carriers also are seeking additional rate increases that they say they need to cover rising medical costs. As a result, some consumers could face total premium increases of more than 20%.

Rising medical costs? I thought Obama and his team of geniuses were going to solve that? THAT was what this whole bullshit was supposedly about.

In addition to pledging that the law would restrain increases in Americans’ insurance premiums, Democrats front-loaded the legislation with early provisions they hoped would boost public support. Those include letting children stay on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26, eliminating co-payments for preventive care and barring insurers from denying policies to children with pre-existing conditions, plus the elimination of the coverage caps.

Weeks before the election, insurance companies began telling state regulators it is those very provisions that are forcing them to increase their rates.

Well, duh.

The White House says insurers are using the law as an excuse to raise rates and predicts that state regulators will block some of the large increases.

“I would have real deep concerns that the kinds of rate increases that you’re quoting… are justified,” said Nancy-Ann DeParle, the White House’s top health official. She said that for insurers, raising rates was “already their modus operandi before the bill” passed. “We believe consumers will see through this,” she said.

Previously the administration had calculated that the batch of changes taking effect this fall would raise premiums no more than 1% to 2%, on average.

Well, I guess you guys calculated wrong. But, as for the “consumers” seeing through this? I just hope the voters see through it.

It’s rather simple: More coverage + More people = More money.

Maybe -just maybe- a bunch of academic wonks with no real world experience don’t actually get how supply, demand, and cost work? Could it be that they didn’t realize that expanding required services, while lowering copays, would raise prices?

Magical unicorn farts were supposed to make this whole scheme run smoothly.

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2 Comments on “Unexpected rise in health care premiums”

  1. dick Says:

    Well, at least we saw this coming.

  2. maggie katzen Says:

    so did Obama

    But if you — if what — the reports are true, what they’re saying is, is that as a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that’s going to increase our costs, we knew that.

    snort

    are they already on “health care”? I think not.

    also, I’m not sure they “knew that”

    That’s how we’ll extend the life of Medicare and bring down health care costs for families and businesses and governments. And in fact, it is through these reforms that we achieve the biggest reduction in our long-term deficits since the Balanced Budget Act of the 1990s.

    oh well.


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