Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And that's just the wallet he's going for...

Obamacare is just a really, really bad piece of legislation.

How bad is it?

It's so bad that the ill effects of it are being felt before it is fully implemented... 4 years from now.

The smartest kids on the block inside Team O simply cannot grasp the concept that mandating increased benefits from health insurance providers need to be paid for somehow and most logically, it's going to come out of hide in the form of increased premiums for consumers.

Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums on some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul as soon as next month, complicating Democrats' efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections.

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.

These and other insurers say Congress's landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted.

Insurers say the health-care overhaul is spurring higher rates.

The rate increases largely apply to policies for individuals and small businesses and don't include people covered by a big employer or Medicare.

About 9% of Americans buy coverage through the individual market, according to the Census Bureau, and roughly one-fifth of people who get coverage through their employer work at companies with 50 or fewer employees, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. People in both groups are likely to feel the effects of the proposed increases, even as they see new benefits under the law, such as the elimination of lifetime and certain annual coverage caps.

The coverage the article talks about are stripped down, low cost/low benefit plans favored by individuals and small businesses. Yeah, more good news for small businesses already getting crushed by this stagnant economy and which are now going to be asked to shell out more for their employee's health care coverage.

As health insurance providers warn of premium increases, there is the natural and clueless skepticism from the White House.

"I would have real deep concerns that the kinds of rate increases that you're quoting... are justified," said Nancy-Ann DeParle, the White House's top health official. She said that for insurers, raising rates was "already their modus operandi before the bill" passed. "We believe consumers will see through this," she said.

In a freer market, there would not be any such thing as a rate increase being "justified" or not, especially as opined by a public official. A freer market would provide more competition and a premium increase would be "justified" or people would take there business elsewhere. It's as simple as that.

Oh, and regarding Ms. DeParle:
DeParle has drawn criticism for her lucrative service on corporate boards after her tenure in the Clinton administration. reported that she was paid more than $6 million, and served as a director of half a dozen companies that faced federal investigations, whistleblower lawsuits and other regulatory actions. Many of these companies have a stake in the health care reform that she is leading

It's perfect when you think about it. A tenured member of the ruling class and the other, finger-wagging with respect to the business practices of an industry from which she came.

Just chalk all this up to yet another example of command-and-control economic policy having precisely the opposite effect as was intended.

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