Despite efforts in the law to cut health costs for consumers, some insurance providers have warned that they will hike up premiums as much as 9 percent because of the legislation. But Sebelius said actuarial reports show that justifiable rate increases should be only around 1 or 2 percent as the law is implemented. Though she said she believes rate increases will be substantial, "it has little to do with passage of the Act and more to do with the marketplace."
But that just won't do. The White House party line must remain intact: The administration simply won't tolerate malevolent insurance companies citing basic economics lies to offer explanations excuses for why they're forced to raise premiums directly because of Obamacare's mandates their own undiluted avarice.
What Ms. Sebelius really means is that the government will prohibit insurers from doing business if reality is not politically convenient for Democrats. ObamaCare includes a slew of mandated benefits for next year, such as allowing children to remain on their parents' plans until age 26 and "free" preventative care (i.e., no direct out-of-pocket cost sharing for consumers). The tone of Ms. Sebelius's letter suggests that she doesn't understand that money is exchanged for goods and services, and that if Congress mandates new benefits, premiums will rise.
The Administration estimates that these regulations should increase all premiums by 1% to 2% on average. Even if that turns out to be right—on average—that isn't what insurers are finding in practice in the local, price-sensitive individual and small business insurance markets, where coverage is typically less comprehensive to hold down costs. For some current policies in some states, the one-year increase jumps as much as 9%.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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