“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
Walter Scott’s line from the poem Marmion is a fitting motto for the Obama administration, because it fits their actions and words related to Obamacare, also known as the “Affordable Care Act.”
The Obamacare train wreck keeps rolling down the tracks, taking us all to deeper depths, places we never could have conceived when the law was first talked about. As the old proverb says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, Health industry officials said that Obamacare premiums are likely to double or even triple in some parts of the country next year.
Doesn’t sound very affordable, does it.
Democrats were already worried about the effect that Obamacare would have on their reelection in the midterms, and for those who chose to retire, their prospective replacements are now very worried they will have a difficult time.
According to what lawmakers were told, one reason for the premium hikes is the numerous delays and changes to the law. Those would be the changes president Obama has been making, bypassing congress. The only good thing about that is the blame for this mess rests squarely on Obama and Democrats.
According to The Hill, a senior health insurance executive anonymously told them, “Everyone knows that the way the exchange has rolled out, it is going to lead to higher costs.”
As bad as the rollout was, and as bad as the constant delays have been, it is estimated the biggest driver of higher premiums is the administration’s overblown projections about the number of young healthy consumers who would enroll. The White House has been providing inflated numbers for this group, along with total sign-ups to the new health care law overall.
As I wrote in White House Continues To Inflate Obamacare Numbers, of the supposedly 4 million “enrolled” in the exchanges, only around 500,000 were previously uninsured, and there is no way to tell how many of these people (if any) have actually chosen and paid for a plan.
Also, the Obama administration estimated that around 40 percent of enrollees would be between the ages of 18 and 35.
As of March 1, only 25 percent of those enrolled were in that age group.
Those young people are the ones who would help to make the insurance system work, because they pay more into the insurance pool than they use in services. Any insurance professional will tell you that the “risk pool” must have a substantial number of healthy participants to balance those receiving benefits from injury or illness.
The administration has stubbornly held on to their fantasy participation numbers since the October 1, 2013 roll-out, insisting that the rate of enrollment for the young would accelerate during the final two weeks of March.
Wrong so far, and highly unlikely to be achieved – ever.
Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, admitted that premium rates would increase in 2015. The Wall Street Journal reported that there would have been increases even without Obamacare. “The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,” Sebelius told lawmakers.
The rate hikes apparently will vary, depending on the region and the carrier, but here’s the kicker – older and less healthy populations are likely to be affected most.
Watch out Florida!
We will have to wait to see the increases, because it will be some time before insurers file their next rate proposals with state insurance commissioners. It is thought that some insurers will hold their rates down to attract more customers, deferring recovery of their losses. It may depend how deep their pockets are.
Democrats expect political fallout even worse than it already appears. Any premium hikes are certain to undermine Obamacare enrollment efforts in 2015, according to The Hill. Doubling or tripling rates could result in the wholesale booting of Democrats, who forced this destructive law on Americans, either by their direct actions or their inaction.