"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In a Rare Moment of Half-truth, HHS Secretary Sebelius Admits Premiums Rising Due to ObamaCare

"Don't worry. You'll get subsidies to handle your costs paid for by people richer than you. Oh, you mean you have a job? Well, then you will pay more."

I guess Sebelius couldn't ignore the rate increases any longer.

From The Wall Street Journal article by Louise Radnofsky:

Some people purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could see premiums rise because of requirements in the health-care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Tuesday.

Ms. Sebelius’s remarks come weeks before insurers are expected to begin releasing rates for plans that start on Jan. 1, 2014, when key provisions of the health law kick in.  
Premiums have been a sensitive subject for the Obama administration, which is counting on elements in the health law designed to increase competition among insurers to keep rates in check. The administration has pointed to subsidies that will be available for many lower-income Americans to help them with the cost of coverage.
The secretary’s remarks are among the first direct statements from federal officials that people who have skimpy health plans right now could face higher premiums for plans that are more generous. She noted that the law requires plans to provide better benefits and treat all customers equally regardless of their medical claims.

“These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, and so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market,” she said. “But we feel pretty strongly that with subsidies available to a lot of that population that they are really going to see much better benefit for the money that they’re spending.”

Ms. Sebelius added that those customers currently pay more for their health care if their plans have high out-of-pocket costs, high deductibles or exclude particular types of coverage, such as mental health treatment. She also said that some men and younger customers could see their rates increase while women and older customers could see their rates drop because the law restricts insurers’ ability to set rates based on age and gender.  
As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, some insurers have already begun signaling they could dramatically increase prices for people buying policies in the individual market to compensate for restrictions on how they treat consumers, as well as new fees and requirements that they provide bigger benefits packages.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.

As John Hayward at Human Events points out, "Don’t worry, folks, ObamaCare is blowing premiums through the roof, but there will be subsidies available for lower-income Americans! That means the rest of us will get screwed twice - once when we pay our higher insurance premiums, then again when we pay for all those lovely subsidies."

Considering this law was written and pushed by people who are ignorant of (a) health care and the industry of health care (b) the insurance business, most specifically actuarials, and (c) the workings of a free market industry, this result is sadly predictable.

ObamaCare is unworkable. It is simply a matter of how much damage it does before major overhauling must take place. The nature of the overhaul is also in question-- whether it will follow the way of single-payer-- and furthering the downward spiral of health care in the U.S.-- or a market-based model.

Thanks Supreme Court for ruling that people can be coerced through taxation to bend to the government's will.


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