Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No, really... guess what else ObamaCare doesn't do?

So, those of you who thought ObamaCare was a swell idea because it would bring down premiums may be in for a bit of a rude surprise.

Public outrage over double-digit rate hikes for health insurance may have helped push President Obama's healthcare overhaul across the finish line, but the new law does not give regulators the power to block similar increases in the future.

And now, with some major companies already moving to boost premiums and others poised to follow suit, millions of Americans may feel an unexpected jolt in the pocketbook.

Although Democrats promised greater consumer protection, the overhaul does not give the federal government broad regulatory power to prevent increases.

Many state governments -- which traditionally had responsibility for regulating insurance companies -- also do not have such authority. And several that do are now being sued by insurance companies.

"It is a very big loophole in health reform," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said. Feinstein and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) are pushing legislation to expand federal and state authority to prevent insurance companies from boosting rates excessively.

A loophole? That's what you call one leg of the three-legged ObamaCare stool (universal coverage, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and bending down the cost curve) getting sawed in two? A loophole?

First, Congress forgot to cover children with pre-existing conditions (the health insurance companies were later shamed into providing coverage).

Then, they forgot to cover young adults under their parent's health insurance plans (later, fixed with the Reconciliation bill).

And just yesterday, news broke that they somehow forgot to exempt themselves from ObamaCare.

And now, they kind of forgot to shore up that whole rising premium thing. It's the big sombrero of legislative incompetence.

How much further proof does one need that no one, repeat, no one bothered reading this bill?

But as for actually giving the feds some regulatory teeth in which to clamp down on those greedy insurance companies, fear not, congressional help is on the way.

On Capitol Hill, Feinstein said she was looking at ways to move her premium regulation bill forward, perhaps by attaching it to other legislation with bipartisan support.

Linking it to something like troop spending is always a favorite of ours.

If you are scoring at home, then: We had the original ObamaCare bill signed into law back on March 20th. Then you had the Reconciliation bill that was supposed to fix everything that was screwed up and disagreeable about the original O-Care bill. Now, because they couldn't get the cost control thing right, there will be yet another healthcare-related bill.

ObamaCare: As Nancy Pelosi promised, it will be the gift we keep finding more and more about now that it has passed.