She’s bragging about this?

U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius in the WSJ responding to accusations of thuggery in her department toward insurance companies:

These critics seem to believe that any oversight of the insurance industry is too much, and that consumers would be better off in a system where they have few rights or protections.

In addition, thanks to diligent work by North Carolina’s insurance commissioner, they’ll see their premiums rise by less than 6% in 2011—the smallest rate increase in four years.

Wow! Only 6% this year. That’s …. horrible. Is this supposed to be good news?

The Affordable Care Act is bringing some basic fairness to our health insurance market. So when I learned that a handful of insurers around the country are blaming their significant rate increases on the new law—even though the facts show that the impact of the law on premiums is small, just 1% to 2% declining over time—I let them know that we’d be closely reviewing their rate hikes.

That fairness. It’s code. But Sebelius is wrong about that one-to-two percentage impact on premiums. Why?

The Heritage Foundation lays it out. In summation, because their points are too numerous to list here:

Despite this promise, President Obama’s wishes do not trump basic supply and demand or common sense. If government requires that a product be made more generous and be available to more individuals, its cost will increase. There is no way around the fact that the vast majority of Americans will be paying higher prices for their insurance because of Obamacare.

Obamacare is a government take-over of healthcare, and we all be paying more for it. Well, at least those of us with (non-union) jobs. Read this and weep.

[B]usy beavers in various corners of the federal bureaucracy are laying plans for new fiefdoms. Thousands of new employees are planned for various offices in HHS, including the new office to regulate private health insurance nationwide. The IRS is gearing up both to enforce with tax penalties the requirement that everyone carry government-approved insurance, and to help administer the massive new entitlement program that will require income verification on tens of millions of applicants. States will also be forced to build new bureaucracies to carry out the scores of tasks the federal government will be ordering them to perform.

Massive bureaucracy. Disinformation campaigns. Blatant power plays. The politicization of decisions that should be made with a focus on patient care. The use of government power to threaten citizens and their livelihood.

Sebelius calls all this “oversight.”

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