Tag Archives: Obamacare

Obamacare success: health insurance premiums to rise 20-40 percent in 2016

Obama doesn't have time for national security
Obama on the golf course having fun

This is from the radically leftist New York Times, of all places.

They write:

Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.

The Oregon insurance commissioner, Laura N. Cali, has just approved 2016 rate increases for companies that cover more than 220,000 people. Moda Health Plan, which has the largest enrollment in the state, received a 25 percent increase, and the second-largest plan, LifeWise, received a 33 percent increase.
Jesse Ellis O’Brien, a health advocate at the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, said: “Rate increases will be bigger in 2016 than they have been for years and years and will have a profound effect on consumers here. Some may start wondering if insurance is affordable or if it’s worth the money.”

[…]The rate requests are the first to reflect a full year of experience with the new insurance exchanges and federal standards that require insurers to accept all applicants, without charging higher prices because of a person’s illness or disability.

Bye-bye private health insurance, hello government-run VA style health care:

In financial statements filed with the government in the last two months, some insurers said that their claims payments totaled not just 80 percent, but more than 100 percent of premiums. And that, they said, is unsustainable.

Here’s Minnesota and Tennessee:

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, for example, the ratio of claims paid to premium revenues was more than 115 percent, and the company said it lost more than $135 million on its individual insurance business in 2014. “Based on first-quarter results,” it said, “the year-end deficit for 2015 individual business is expected to be significantly higher.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the largest insurer in the state’s individual market, said its proposed increase of 36 percent could affect more than 209,000 consumers.

Missouri, North Carolina, Kansas:

Coventry Health Care, now owned by Aetna, is seeking rate increases that average 22 percent for 70,000 consumers in Missouri. “The claims experience for these plans has been worse than anticipated,” Coventry reported.

In its proposal to increase rates by an average of 25 percent for more than 397,000 consumers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina cited “inpatient costs, particularly in treatment of cancer and heart conditions, emergency room utilization, and cost for specialty drug medications” to treat hepatitis C, breast cancer and cystic fibrosis.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas sought increases averaging 37 percent for 2016 and said the increase could affect 28,600 consumers.

“Kansans who purchased these individual plans since 2014 were older, in general, than expected and required more medical services than anticipated,” the company told federal health officials.

Wow, so when Obama promised all kinds of new free things, that actually costs money? I can’t believe it. Why didn’t Obama tell us that it would cost more to do all these things he promised, and that we would be stuck with the bill – not him? I thought he was such a generous guy and was going to pay for all this himself. But it turns out that he was just telling you what he was going to buy with your money.

Supreme Court legislates from the bench to save Obamacare, again!

Obamacare premium increases by state
Obamacare premium increases by state (click for larger image)

Ben Shapiro who is a Harvard Law grad has a good summary of Thursday’s awful Supreme Court decision.

He writes:

On Thursday, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision on Obamacare’s IRS subsidies under federal health insurance exchanges. And, as expected, the Court rewrote the statute to help President Obama’s signature law.

[…]In King v. Burwell, four citizens sued over Obamacare, alleging that they had been forced to purchase health insurance; they said that the federal health exchange set up in Virginia in absence of a state-created health exchange under Obamacare did not count as a “state exchange” for purposes of the statute, making it illegal for them to receive federal subsidies for their health insurance. Without the subsidies, they would no longer be required to purchase health insurance, since it would be too expensive.

Now, Obamacare’s language is quite clear: it states that only those who buy insurance via state-run health exchanges may receive federal subsidies. This provision was purposefully designed to incentivize states to set up their own exchanges, in order that politicians could take credit for making health insurance more widely available with the help of the federal government. When states turned down the opportunity to set up such exchanges, the scheme collapsed. Or at least it would have, had not President Obama’s IRS casually rewritten the law, and provided federal health insurance subsidies via the federal health exchanges in violation of both the letter and spirit of the law.

Basically, the Supreme Court judges interpreted “an exchange established by the State” to mean “an exchange established by the State or the Federal Government“. If you think that’s a substantial mistake, you’re right. It’s a complete fabrication, and it amounts to writing legislation on-the-fly to save Obama’s law.

Shapiro again:

Roberts utilized the following logic, direct from the insane asylum:

[W]e must determine whether a Federal Ex- change is “established by the State” for purposes of Section 36B. At the outset, it might seem that a Federal Exchange cannot fulfill this requirement. After all, the Act defines “State” to mean “each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia”—a definition that does not include the Federal Government. 42 U. S. C. §18024(d). But when read in context, “with a view to [its] place in the overall statutory scheme,” the meaning of the phrase “established by the State” is not so clear.

Then, for page after dreadful page, Roberts and the Court majority torture the statute, declaring that if it floats, state exchanges will be deemed federal exchanges, and if it sinks, federal exchanges will be declared state exchanges.

Apparently, the plain meaning of the text is not so clear to our nine black-robed oligarchs.

Ben quotes Justice Scalia’s dissent:

The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says “Exchange established by the State” it means “Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.” That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so…. Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by the State.” It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words “established by the State.” And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words “by the State” other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges.

Investors Business Daily says that Obamacare is running into financial struggles. So it’s not just that you can’t keep your doctor, you can’t keep your health plan, and you have to pay thousands more for health insurance. Now we find out that the rosy fiscal projections for the cost of the law were false.

Looks like we are going to be stuck with Obamacare until we get a Republican President. I think that as more people who get their health care through their employers start to feel the premium pain that self-employed people have already felt. That may be useful for the 2016 election, especially since Hillary has already thrown her support behind Obamacare. Maybe when people are paying double what they used to pay for half as much coverage, then they’ll understand why we do not want government involved in the health care industry.

Insurance companies are raising their premiums in response to Obamacare

This story is from Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

We pointed out that several states had already tried these “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” reforms, and they’d been a disaster. Higher premiums encouraged the young and healthy to forgo insurance, knowing that they could sign up after they got sick, which drove premiums still higher.

ObamaCare was supposed to avoid this fate by heavily subsidizing insurance premiums and imposing a tax penalty for going uninsured, to get the young and healthy to sign up and keep premiums down.

But when IBD’s Jed Graham looked at the limited number of filings two weeks ago, he noted that insurers were asking for hikes that averaged 18.6%. And as more rate filings became public, that picture hasn’t changed.

In Virginia, for example, just one plan came in with a proposed rate increase below 10%. Three are above 25%. In Texas, Scott & White wants a 32% boost and Humana 30%. Alliance Health Plans in Georgia says that it needs a 37.85% increase.

The reasons given for these huge increases? The insurance pool is older and sicker than expected.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, which enrolled more than 329,000 people in the state, wants a 29% hike, saying, “Actual claims experience of the members … is significantly higher than expected.”

CareFirst in Maryland said that its per-enrollee claims shot up 49% in the first year of ObamaCare. WPS Health Plan also cited “the impact of numerous additional taxes and fees imposed upon our plan” as part of the reason why it wants a 19% boost.

It sounds so nice to feelings-oriented voters to cover all kinds of things that some people like, like birth control and sex changes. It sounds so nice to feelings-oriented voters to not turn people away with pre-existing conditions. It sounds to nice to feelings-oriented voters for every plan to cover maternity care – even for people who don’t use it, e.g. – men. But the simple fact of the matter is that when you force insurers to include more coverages and extend coverage to more people, then there will be more claims, and the next rounds of premiums must rise to cover the increased number of claims. That’s how insurance works. Although I doubt the average feelings-oriented Democrat understands that.

More:

What’s more, these big increases are coming before ObamaCare’s temporary industry bailout programs go away. They were specifically designed to protect insurers from big losses, allowing them to keep premiums lower than they might have otherwise.

The cost of claims is going higher. The subsidies to cover the higher claims disappear. The private insurance companies cannot pay the higher claims. The private insurance companies close. The government takes over the health care industry. Taxes go up, to pay for a bloated and wasteful government-run health care system. Patients are forced to wait longer for care, even after paying into the single payer system their whole lives. Conscience protections disappear. More and more unethical behaviors that require health care get covered by the single payer system, encouraging patients to be less responsible since health care is “free”. Tax rates go higher to cover skyrocketing costs of “free” health care. Government decides to cut costs by implementing coerced abortion and euthanasia.

All we have to do is look to Europe and Canada to see how it works. This is how the socialist game plan plays out.

Scott Walker: if sent a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, “I will sign that bill”

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this decision
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this decision

Life News reports on some good news:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a likely pro-life candidate for the Republican nomination for president and he burnished those pro-life credentials today by issuing a letter saying he would sign a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks.

“As the Wisconsin legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level. I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life and I will always fight to protect it.”

The letter adds:

Life is a value I learned from my parents, and it’s a value I have cherished every day, predating my time in politics. My policies throughout my career have earned a 100% rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin. Just in my first term I signed numerous pieces of pro-life legislation and I will continue working for every life.

In my past four years as governor, we have made substantial progress in the fight for our pro-life values in Wisconsin. We defunded Planned Parenthood. We prohibited abortion from being covered by health plans in a health exchange. We passed legislation assuring the women and their unborn child are better protected under law – through placing stringent requirements on medical professionals and requiring the provision of thorough and vital information to the mother.

I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life and I will always fight to protect it.

Pro-life groups were delighted by Walker’s letter.

“Wisconsin Right to Life is very happy to hear that Governor Walker intends to sign a bill that would protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain,” stated Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “In light of this excellent news, we urge the Wisconsin State Legislature to pass a bill to protect pain-capable unborn children as soon as possible.”

In 2013, Gov. Walker signed an ultrasound bill (Senate Bill 206, also known as Sonya’s Law) that ensures that women seeking abortions are given the opportunity to see their unborn children through ultrasound. The legislation also requires abortionists to have admitting privileges within thirty miles of their facility. This is the kind of pro-woman, pro-life bill that not only has proven to save the lives of unborn babies, but it has closed down abortion clinics that can’t comply with basic health and safety requirements. Sure enough, abortion centers in Wisconsin closed down after Walker signed the bill into law.

[…]Since Governor Walker took office in January 2011, the pro-life movement in Wisconsin has made monumental gains. Walker signed into law a state budget that included a provision to prohibit the UW Hospital Authority from being involved in performing abortions and from using taxpayer dollars to pay medical students to learn how to perform abortions. Walker steered Wisconsin Well Woman funds to local counties instead of Planned Parenthood.

Governor Walker also signed bills that allow Wisconsin to opt out of abortion funding under Obamacare, to protect pregnant women from coerced abortions and to prohibit RU486 chemical web cam abortions.

Life News reminded us in 2014 that what Scott Walker did got results for unborn babies:

Last year, abortions in Wisconsin dropped 4.4 percent and they declined 7.4 percent the year before. Now, Wisconsin Right to Life informs LifeNews abortions in the Badger State are down another 16 percent.

“Last week, Wisconsin abortion providers stated under oath that abortions have decreased from 6,927 in 2012 to roughly 5,800 in 2013,”  stated Barbara L. Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.  “This is another sharp decline of approximately 16%, continuing Wisconsin’s record as having some of the lowest abortion numbers in the country.”

[…]The abortion drop comes after pro-life Governor Scott Walker signed multiple pro-life bills into law.

I like to see results. A lot of people talk pro-life, and even vote pro-life – but very few sign pro-life bills into law and take the heat for doing so. I like what I’ve seen so far from Scott Walker. But I am very demanding, and very hard to please. I want to know what Scott Walker has done for unborn babies lately!

Yes, I realize that Wisconsin is a blue state, and that Wisconsin has voted for the Democrat candidate in every presidential election since 1988! So getting this pro-life bill signed there would be a tall order. But this is what people expect from Scott Walker. He is in first place in the GOP primary polls because Republican voters know that he regularly does the impossible. He takes on tough problems and he finds conservative solutions to them.

I am sick and tired of seeing Democrats get elected and then aggressively enacting their agenda. When we elect Republicans, I expect them to enact Republican priorities. Look at what is happening in the House with the executive amnesty capitulation. Before that we had the failure to vote on the  Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. And before that the Cromnibus debacle. I’m sick of it. Scott Walker has a history of taking on big challenges and winning. He can do it! And it would give pro-lifers even more reasons to vote for him than they already have.

Related posts

Alliance Defending Freedom wins HHS mandate case: Democrats forced to pay $570,000

Life News has some good news for us.

They write:

The bill is coming due, literally, for the Obama administration over its attempts to force companies to comply with the HHS mandate, that compels them to pay for drugs for their employees that can cause abortions.

The pro-life legal group ADF obtained a settlement in federal court Friday that requires the Obama administration to pay an agreed-upon amount of $570,000 to ADF and allied attorneys who won a lawsuit at the U.S. Supreme Court against the abortion-pill mandate in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell. 

Conestoga Wood is one of the companies that challenged the abortion mandate in court and the high court eventually sided with them and Hobby Lobby, the most prominent firm taking on the Obama mandate.

“The government does a serious disservice to taxpayers when it pursues unjust laws that force many of them to defend their constitutionally protected freedoms,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told LifeNews.com. “While this case is finally over, many others remain. We hope the administration will stop defending its indefensible abortion-pill mandate and end its waste of taxpayer dollars on a fruitless quest to force people to give up their freedom to live and work according to their beliefs.”

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Conestoga Wood Specialties and the Hahn family, Mennonite cabinetmakers in Pennsylvania who appealed to the nation’s high court after a divided federal appellate court ruled against them. The Supreme Court eventually sided with the company.

“The cost of religious freedom for the Hahn family and many other job creators across the country who face this mandate is severe,” added Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “A family should not face massive fines and lawsuits just because they want to earn a living consistent with their faith.”

The mandate could have cost the family nearly $3 million per month in fines if it doesn’t agree to live contrary to its Christian convictions. It forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.

Conestoga Wood Specialties owners Norman Hahn, Elizabeth Hahn, Norman Lemar Hahn, Anthony H. Hahn, and Kevin Hahn desire to run their company, a wholesale manufacturer of custom wood cabinet parts, in a manner that reflects their Christian beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.

I try not to think about whose money this is… in a fair world, it would come right out of Obama’s bank accounts.

I took a quick look to see if there were any ADF podcasts on this case, and I didn’t find any.