"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

The Truth About Premiums Under Obamacare: They’re Going Up!

January 28th, 2011 by mopns · 1 Comment

According to a Politico report today, “The Obama administration is firing back at one of the major attacks Republicans have leveled at the health reform law: that it will make insurance premiums rise. The report, to be released by HHS later today, argues that individuals and families purchasing coverage through the exchanges in 2014 will save 14-20 percent over what coverage would cost them if the law had never been enacted. The report points to ‘preliminary evidence’ that provisions of the Affordable Care Act already in place will contribute to rate increases in 2011 that are lower than in previous years.”

Unfortunately, none of this matches the reality of President Obama’s unpopular health care law. In fact, the “preliminary evidence,” to borrow a phrase, points to “huge” premium hikes across the country. At the beginning of the month, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1. . . . San Francisco-based Blue Shield said the increases were the result of fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.”

A week later, The Wall Street Journal reported, “California isn’t the only state seeing premiums continue to rise. . . . In Vermont, MVP Health Care is raising premiums for some Catamount products by about 21%.” KCCI in Des Moines, Iowa, reported earlier this month, “Wellmark [Blue Cross Blue Shield] is planning a 10.8 percent rate hike for individual policy holders. Close to 46,000 Iowa policyholders under age 65 will see an increase in their base premium rate of 10.8 percent, effective April 1, 2011, if approved. Another 3,000 basic and standard policyholders will receive an increase of 11.3 percent. Approximately 2,500 Blue Transitions policyholders will receive an increase of 15 percent. The company raised rates by 18 percent in May of 2010.”

 Last month, The Columbian of Vancouver, Washington, reported “In October, [Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike] Kreidler accepted rate hikes of 16.4 percent for Regence Blueshield, 15.4 percent for Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Oregon and 23.7 percent for Asuris Northwest Health, according to Stephanie Marquis, a spokeswoman for Kreidler.” And last fall The Hartford Courant reported, “Health insurers are asking for immediate rate hikes of more than 20 percent in Connecticut for some plans, citing rising medical costs and federal health reform laws as reasons.”

In the Weekly Republican Address last week, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said, “A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans still want this [health care] law repealed. And the reasons are clear. Ask yourself – are you better off or worse off now that the healthcare law has been on the books for almost a year? Has the cost of your own health insurance gone down? Remember the President promised that the law would significantly reduce your costs.” And yet the reality is Americans are seeing “huge rate increases,” because of “expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.” This law needs to be repealed and replaced.

Related:

Video Flashback: Carnahan: “Protesting ObamaCare is An Attack On Our Representative System of Govt.”

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