This story is from Investors Business Daily.
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.
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.