Steve did a post earlier this week about the rise in insurance premiums that consumers are now seeing. The insurance companies have said that anywhere from 1% to 9% of those increases are the direct result of Obamacare mandates, with the rest of any increases attributable to rising health care costs.
Yesterday, the Obama administration struck back.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, issued the warning in a letter to Karen Ignagni, the insurance industry’s top lobbyist.
Ms. Sebelius said some insurers were notifying enrollees that their insurance premiums will increase next year as a result of the law’s new benefits…
“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Ms. Sebelius wrote. “We will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections.” [emphasis supplied]
Let’s analyize that statement.
Beginning soon, as an example, insurers will have to provide “free” preventive care to their insureds. So, when a patient has a mammogram performed at her local hospital, the patient will pay nothing. Is the hospital performing the procedure for free? Is the radiologist reading the test results for free? Of course not. Currently, you and your insurer split those costs in some fashion. Within months, the insurance company will have to pay the entire cost. How will the insurance company cover their additional cost…by raising premiums, of course.
Months ago, the Congressional Budget Office warned us about this, but apparently, Ms. Sebelius didn’t get the memo.
CBO found that premiums in the individual market will rise by 10% to 13% more than if Congress did nothing. Family policies under the status quo are projected to cost $13,100 on average, but under ObamaCare will jump to $15,200.
So, the “misinformation” Ms. Sebelius speaks about in her warning letter would be better directed at those who not only voted for Obamacare, but who also spent months telling us that our insurance costs would fall when Obamacare was passed.
I submit, just as the CBO knew what would happen, so did Congress. But, they needed to spread that misinformation in an attempt to convince the American public that this was a good bill. Now, they are confronted with the stark reality of what they did.
As Pogo would have said, “we have met the enemy and he is us”.