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Obama-Care Premiums Could Double Next Year

From The Hill (of all places):

O-Care premiums to skyrocket

By Elise Viebeck | March 19, 2014

Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration. The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.

And never mind the havoc these increases will play on people’s lives.

The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector. She told lawmakers rates would increase in 2015 but grow more slowly than in the past. “The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,” the secretary said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Her comment baffled insurance officials, who said it runs counter to the industry’s consensus about next year. “It’s pretty shortsighted because I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out … is going to lead to higher costs,” said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity.

The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.

There goes that ‘swing state.’

Some insurers initially underpriced their policies to begin with, expecting to raise rates in the second year…

But insurance officials are quick to emphasize that any spikes would be a consequence of delays and changes in ObamaCare’s rollout…Federal health officials have also limited the amount of money the government can spend to help insurers cover the cost of new, sick patients.

Perhaps most important, insurers have been disappointed that young people only make up about one-quarter of the enrollees in plans through the insurance exchanges, according to public figures that were released earlier this year…

These factors will have the unintended consequence of raising rates, sources said…

None of this is any surprise to anyone, except maybe the suckers at the insurance companies who believed Obama’s promises.

“My gut tells me that, for some people, these increases will be significant,” said Bill Hoagland, a former executive at Cigna and current senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Hoagland said Sebelius was seeking to “soften up the American public” to the likelihood that premiums will rise, despite promises to the contrary.

Republicans frequently highlight President Obama’s promise on the campaign trail to enact a healthcare law that would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” “They’re going to have to backpedal on that,” said Hoagland, who called Sebelius’s comment a “pre-emptive strike.”

“This was her way of getting out in front of it,” he added.

There is no getting out in front of this.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Obama-Care Premiums Could Double Next Year”

  1. dasher

    This will be no problem for Obama – mere buzzing gnats to be swatted away by pen and phone and later, to be dealt with by someone else in the Oval Office.

    Next!!


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