Surprise: Insurers Warn Of Skyrocketing Costs Due To Obamacare

Nancy Pelosi stated that “we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Well, no, not really, because pundits were saying before hand that Obamacare would cause the cost of health insurance to rise. Looks like they were right

(AP) Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people.

The nation’s big health insurers say they expect premiums – or the cost for insurance coverage – to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014.

Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna Inc., one of the nation’s largest insurers, calls the price hikes “premium rate shock.”

“We’ve done all the math, we’ve shared it with all the regulators, we’ve shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it’s a big concern,” Bertolini said during the company’s annual meeting with investors in December.

It’s not particularly a big concern for Democrats, who love the idea of Obamacare being a bridge to Single Payer. It’ll be amusing next year when all the Obamacare supporters who are hit with the massive price increases start complaining.

The impact of some cost hikes will be wide ranging. The new premium tax, for instance, will affect individual insurance, some employer-sponsored coverage and Medicare Advantage policies, which are privately-run versions of the government’s Medicare program for the elderly and disabled.

Other price hikes will vary due to factors like a person’s current coverage and age. Young people who currently have low-cost coverage may see some of the biggest hikes.

I maintain that this is not a bug, but a feature. The idea is to drive people from private insurance into the hands of the government run exchanges with all their subsidies, along with the Medicaid expansion. But, that money has to come from somewhere, which means rising costs and taxes somewhere else.

But Robert Laszewski, an industry consultant and former insurance executive, said that theory assumes there is no competition in the marketplace now. He noted that a small company may get quotes from as many as 10 insurers competing for business when it tries to find coverage through a broker.

Those who support the exchanges have this notion that they will create competition which could lower costs. Alas, as the above paragraph points out, there already is competition. Costs are costs. When insurance companies start going out of business due to their own skyrocketing costs and dwindling profits thanks to government mandates and taking on lots of sick people, that competition will dry up. Which is also a feature, not a bug.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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