ObamaCare working according to plan: Health insurance parasites screw more blood out of our stones
Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest [putative] objectives of the Obama administration's health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.
Since ObamaCare was crafted by Liz Fowler, a WellPoint VP on secondment to Max Baucus's office, you may be sure that this continued bailout of the value-less health insurance industry is quite deliberate and probably built into corporate planning years ago. Athough I envy the child-like faith of anyone who believes otherwise.
Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.
In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers' filings with the state for 2013. These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.
At which point costs will still not be controlled, but never mind that.
Under the health care law, regulators are now required to review any request for a rate increase of 10 percent or more; the requests are posted on a federal Web site healthcare.gov, along with regulators' evaluations.
The review process not only reveals the sharp disparity in the rates themselves, it also demonstrates the striking difference between places like New York, one of the 37 states where legislatures have given regulators some authority to deny or roll back rates deemed excessive, and California, which is among the states that do not have that ability.
Great. So if you're in CA, you get to see what's happening to you without being able to do anything about it.
Critics, like Dave Jones, the California insurance commissioner and one of two health plan regulators in that state, said that without a federal provision giving all regulators the ability to deny excessive rate increases, some insurance companies can raise rates as much as they did before the law was enacted.
"This is business as usual," Mr. Jones said. "It's a huge loophole in the Affordable Care Act," he said.
Why do you think it's a loophole, Mr. Jones?