Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Oops! It Doesn't Reduce Costs!"

From the LA Times:
Healthcare overhaul won't stop premium increases
The new law doesn't prevent rate hikes such as Anthem Blue Cross' double-digit increase last year. 'It is a very big loophole,' says Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is pushing regulatory legislation.

Public outrage over double-digit rate hikes for health insurance may have helped push President Obama's healthcare overhaul across the finish line, but the new law does not give regulators the power to block similar increases in the future.

And now, with some major companies already moving to boost premiums and others poised to follow suit, millions of Americans may feel an unexpected jolt in the pocketbook.

Although Democrats promised greater consumer protection, the overhaul does not give the federal government broad regulatory power to prevent increases.

Many state governments -- which traditionally had responsibility for regulating insurance companies -- also do not have such authority. And several that do are now being sued by insurance companies.

"It is a very big loophole in health reform," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said. Feinstein and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) are pushing legislation to expand federal and state authority to prevent insurance companies from boosting rates excessively.

Much like the "Oops! It doesn't cover children!" gaffe so that the SCHIP program wasn't threatened (families that make up to $100,000 are eligible in some states), the "Oops! It doesn't reduce costs!" gaffe is a way to overburden insurance companies (which only make 3% profit margin on average anyway), force up their rates, and get people and companies to jump ship onto the so-called "public option" while blaming the market every step of the way.

Soon there will be no "price gouging" by insurance companies, just a government monopoly that buries costs in mountains of debt, rations healthcare, and reduces quality and efficiency. 

"You been bamboozled, Democrats!" Suckers.

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