Insurance premiums set to rise again

You mad, bro?

Part of the reasoning for passage of ObamaCare was that it would lower health insurance premiums. During his 2008 campaign, Obama very specifically said, “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.”

If it sounds too good to be true; than it probably is. In September, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report noting that health insurance premiums had risen by more than $2,300 since 2009.

This isn’t exaclty a shock. Richard Foster, Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, explained during a 2011 congressional hearing that ObamaCare was unlikely to hold down health care costs. More recently, Jonathan Gruber, the architect of ObamaCare, admitted that the law wouldn’t keep health insurance premiums down.

Here we are at the beginning of 2013 and we’re seeing that health insurance premiums are set to rise — by more than 20% in some cases — yet again:

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.

The proposed increases compare with about 4 percent for families with employer-based policies.

What’s more, The Hill reported yesterday on a new study showing that premiums could rise by as much at 42% on young adults between the ages of 21 to 29 and as much as 31% on Americans in their 30s. The increase in premiums would come thanks to a rule passed as part of ObamaCare that “links prices for older and younger patients.”

With Obama winning re-election and the Senate remaining in Democratic Party control, there are no illusions that ObamaCare will repealed. And that’s a shame given that pro-consumer policies — which have had success in Maine by lowering health insurance premiums — were never given a fair shake.

 
 


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