More Unintended Consequences Of Obamacare

Today’s New York Daily News posted an article on “The unaffordable Affordable Care Act.” The Daily News cites research by the nonprofit group The Kaiser Family Foundation which shows:

“…premiums have risen steeply under the law – with the annual premium for family coverage through an employer reaching $15,073 in 2011, an increase of 9% over the previous year. Or as Politico put it: Premiums are now costing families as much as a new car.”

The article points out that some aspects of Obamacare have already taken effect, but that the supposed ‘cost cutting’ aspects of the bill will not go into effect until 2014. Some of the parts of the bill already in effect include covering kids 26 years old and under, accepting patients with no preconditions and eliminating annual caps. All of these things logically drive up the cost for insurance companies, an increase that they logically pass on to their customers.

The 9% increase is not a random number. The Daily News reports:

Back in May, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a final rule that would allow the administration to “establish procedures for federal and state insurance experts to scrutinize premiums” starting in September of this year. Managed care companies were told they would have to justify any rate increases above 10%. Translation: They’d be put on the political hot seat.

Why are health insurance premiums going up? Anticipation of what is to come under the new law. The article reports:

Insurers pushed up costs, not only to cover anticipating an influx of new and possibly sick patience (and lack of revenue from healthy patients signing up), but also to avoid getting audited by the Obama administration before the review period kicks in.

Obamacare needs to be repealed. But it needs to be replaced with something that includes tort reform, portability across state lines, and takes the government out of the equation.

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