Saturday, March 9, 2013

Another week and another round of bad news for ObamaCare

So this is what is meant by the "faith-based community": Supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) that no Congressman nor Senator bothered to read before voting for and which further bureaucratized an already heavily bureaucratized healthcare sector and which added 30 million more people to the system and they are shocked, shocked that the cost of health care is actually rising.

From the L.A. Times:

Despite objections from regulators, health insurers Blue Shield of California and Aetna Inc. are proceeding with double-digit rate increases that state officials said were unreasonable.

Officials at the California Department of Managed Health Care said increases that average more than 11% for about 47,000 individual and small-business policyholders of Blue Shield and Aetna were unreasonable. But state officials don't have the authority to reject changes in premiums, and increasingly health insurers refuse state demands to lower rates.

"I am disappointed that after lengthy negotiations, Blue Shield and Aetna were unwilling to bring their proposed health plan increases down to a reasonable level," said Brent Barnhart, director of the Department of Managed Health Care.

Last year, Aetna led the way for the industry's more defiant stance by proceeding with an 8% rate hike on some small-business policyholders despite objections from the state insurance department. In January, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones scolded Anthem for proceeding with an 11% premium hike for small businesses that he determined was excessive.

You can almost hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth all the way from Sacramento.

Later in the article:

State officials have also objected to some health insurers charging people more this year to recoup fees related to the federal healthcare law that don't take effect until next year.

Jones is expected to criticize another rate increase from Blue Shield at a news conference Thursday in Los Angeles.

State officials are apparently unaware of the Econ 101 principal of price signaling where, in this case, the insurers are anticipating the crunch of additional mandates and what it will cost and are getting out ahead of the resulting pricing curve.

Currently, state officials do not have the authority to deny these rate increases so you can probably guess where this is all going.

Meanwhile, a ballot initiative scheduled for November 2014 would grant state officials the power to deny unreasonable increases for health coverage. The insurance commissioner has that authority for property and auto policies under Proposition 103.

Jones has called that lack of rate review a "huge loophole" in California law and in the federal Affordable Care Act.

Insurers being denied charging what it will cost them to provide health insurance. What could possibly go wrong?

Despite seeing constant examples of it, we continue to be amazed by the naivete' of the statist set who think waving a legislative wand over an entire industry will a) better the delivery of goods and services of that industry and b) lower the cost of goods and services that industry provides.

1 comment:

drozz said...

this is exactly what they want.

premiums rise, politicians puff their chests, more regulations, private insurers go out of business.