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Obama Pushes Premium Hikes Past Elections

From non-dot connecting Bloomberg News:

Insurers to Get Extra Month to Set 2015 Obamacare Rates

By Alex Wayne & Alex Nussbaum | November 22, 2013

The Obama administration plans to push back by a month the second-year start of enrollment in its health program to give insurers more time to adjust to growing pains in the U.S. law, a move that may stave off higher premiums before the 2014 congressional elections.

The enrollment period, previously scheduled to begin Oct. 15, 2014, will now start Nov. 15, said an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who asked not to be identified because the decision isn’t public. The change is important to insurers that need more time to evaluate the first year of the government-run marketplaces.

You see? The Obama administration is just trying to help the (evil) insurance companies "adjust to growing pains." This has nothing to do with the fact that if the next year of Obama-Care enrollments start before the 2014 elections, people will see their premiums skyrocket before they go to the polls.

Technical problems are undermining efforts to attract a broad array of customers to the new markets, a prerequisite to keeping plans affordable in the long run. Keeping prices from spiking next year is “absolutely critical” for President Barack Obama if he wants to preserve his signature legislative achievement, said Ana Gupte, a Leerink Swann & Co. analyst.

“The death of this law would be for health insurance companies to price policies for 2015 in a way that premiums skyrocket,” said Gupte, who is based in New York, in a telephone interview. “At that point, it’s a death spiral and it’s over. So he needs to do something.”

Moving the filing deadline back a month gives insurers more time to assess the mix of consumers who enroll in plans in the first year they’re offered through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The young, healthy people needed to balance the cost of care for older consumers aren’t likely to sign up in large numbers until March, said Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the law.

“This is an important business for them and they want to make smart decisions about how they set their rates,” Gruber said in a telephone interview. “It’s in the nation’s interest they get time to make those decisions.”

More BS from Mr. Gruber. Another month won’t make insurers lower their premiums for 2015. But it will make sure peopledon’t hear about the new higher rates before they vote.

It may also allow room for the government to extend the current enrollment period, Leerink Swann’s Gupte said. “If their implementation is not going to be improved in a meaningful way by the end of December, extending the enrollment period would be a wise decision,” she said.

Starting enrollment after the Nov. 4 congressional elections may also be important to a president seeking to hang onto the Democrat-led Senate and maintain or gain seats in the Republican-led House of Representatives…

Ya think?

The one-month delay revealed yesterday is just long enough so “consumers will not see their 2015 premiums until after the midterm elections, instead of immediately before,” said Mike Tuffin, a former insurance industry lobbyist who is now managing director of consulting firm APCO Worldwide’s Washington office. “One doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to divine the motive here.” …

A minor detail Bloomberg buries in their 14th paragraph.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, November 22nd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Obama Pushes Premium Hikes Past Elections”

  1. dasher

    When you have a MSM that will cover for you, this is exactly how the game is played.

    D.




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