CT approves rate hikes to cover ObamaCare mandates

posted at 12:30 pm on September 18, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The big question here will be whether Kathleen Sebelius herself will travel to Connecticut to smite the insurers personally, or the state government that approved rate hikes of up to 20% to cover the new mandates in ObamaCare.  These rate hike requests won’t be the last, either:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut requested a wide range of premium increases, which will take effect Oct. 1, to cover the costs of new benefits required by federal health reform. Higher prices mostly affect new members shopping for a health plan on the individual market rather than people who have group plans through an employer or some other organization.

The Connecticut Department of Insurance approved Anthem’s request without changes, including a boost of as much as 22.9 percent just to comply with one provision: eliminating annual spending limits per customer. But it’s unclear how much more customers will pay because of the variety of plans and the complexity of other factors, such as a person’s age.

New provisions mandated by federal law to start Thursday include allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, eliminating annual and lifetime limits on the amount of money an insurer spends per customer and mandating that insurers cover the full cost of preventive services, such as mammogramsand colonoscopies.

The looming question is how much those new mandated benefits, along with rising medical costs, will raise prices for health insurance next year. Insurers will submit a new batch of rate requests in October and November to take effect in 2011.

This comes as a great shock to all of those business experts on the Left that kept insisting that additional mandates meant lower costs.  To the rest of us, however, who actually understand risk pools and the difference between price and costs, it’s exactly what we predicted for over a year.

Steve McGough at Radio Vice Online notes that Attorney General and Senate candidate Dick Blumenthal blasted the insurance companies without knowing any of the facts:

Connecticut’s attorney general, Richard Blumenthal (D) – who is running for Senate against Republican candidate Linda McMahon – did not exactly blow a gasket, but of course he thinks the rate increases are massive and unjustified. Tell me Blumenthal, did you even attend the meetings where Anthem proved their case to state regulators? Can you even speak to the actual cost increases or did you just pull page 57 out of the play book and read verbatim?

Linda McMahon should jump all over this as an example of just how misguided ObamaCare was, and how clueless its advocates still are.

Update: The post at Jim Vicevich’s blog was written by Steve, not Jim.  Sorry about that!


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Keep voting Democrat!

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GrannyDee on September 18, 2010 at 12:34 PM

I think the answer is to give everyone in America “tenure”. Then we’d all have life long insurance and pensions. The “other” people could pay for it all.

Mojave Mark on September 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Mine went up $3,000 this year. And my taxes are about to go up about $12,000 a year. Barry is a lieing sack of $hit. But some of us knew that.

VegasRick on September 18, 2010 at 12:38 PM

So….state regulators in Connecticut (a well know bastion of conservative thought) have approved a massive rate hike to cover the costs of a system that (Democrats said) will SAVE us money? Go figure.

tgharris on September 18, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Linda M should, and probably will, be all over this.

But “Ol Big Boy” the Dale Peterson – Chris Christie clip needs its own post. Kind of funny that and one and two degrees of Mike Castle leads to Chris Christie and Dale Peterson.

swamp_yankee on September 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Obamacare makes as much sense as trying to gain weight by gnawing off your own arms & legs.

OhioCoastie on September 18, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Um, savings, um, fairness, um, no wasting money on hip replacements for old ladies, um, gender reassignment surgery for illegal aliens…

SurferDoc on September 18, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I’m tellin’ ya…Linda McMahon is going to win this race. We weren’t supposed to elect her in the primary either.

SouthernGent on September 18, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I have a feeling sebelius is going to have a hissy fit over this! She will probably demand waxman hold hearings asap on the greedy insurance companies. I just hope the voters are paying attention and vote for someone who will try to stop this gosh horrible mess.
L

letget on September 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM

I was almost ready to say the dumb bastards that voted for him deserve this . . . but I remembered that it affects all the rest of us and then I got really angry.

rplat on September 18, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Well, obviously, the only solution is to end these greedy insurance companies, and have the federal government take over the industry. Think of all the government jobs that would create. Perhaps you could get one.

/hint, I’d really don’t think this ‘solution’ would help.

Skandia Recluse on September 18, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I’m tellin’ ya…Linda McMahon is going to win this race. We weren’t supposed to elect her in the primary either.

SouthernGent on September 18, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I think you’re right.

darwin on September 18, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Anthem BCBS to be investigated by the Sebelius Anti-American Committee.

Bishop on September 18, 2010 at 12:52 PM

I think the answer is to give everyone in America “tenure”. Then we’d all have life long insurance and pensions. The “other” people could pay for it all.

Mojave Mark on September 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Really, like the govt should just give everybody a job, and print some checks. Like, then they could, like just print some more money so everybody could buy everything they want. Isn’t Obama gonna pay my mortgage and put gas in my car and pay my health insurance bill? Yay, Obama!

JustTruth101 on September 18, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Super, that’s the ins I have in VA. I’m sure they’ll follow suit any day now.

scalleywag on September 18, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Will Sebelius kick Chris Dodd’s a$$ for this?

Key West Reader on September 18, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Defund, repeal, sow the ground with salt.

Merovign on September 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Ed, isn’t this a good example that the Feds don’t have the commerce clause behind them with ObamaCare? If the commerce clause does allow the feds to regulate as they claim it does, wouldn’t Sebelius have the authority to stop the State Legislature from approving the rate increase? Isn’t their argument that the authority to regulate based on the commerce clause is already in effect?

Texas Gal on September 18, 2010 at 1:02 PM

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. WE NEED TO VOTE DEMOCRAT SO THEY CAN STOP THE HIKE.

GW_SS-Delta on September 18, 2010 at 1:03 PM

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. WE NEED TO VOTE DEMOCRAT SO THEY CAN STOP THE HIKE.

GW_SS-Delta on September 18, 2010 at 1:03 PM

So they can do what – pass another loophole-ridden ‘law’ for their corporatist cronies to tapdance around?

Obamacare…more of a mess letting 100 kittens loose in a yarn factory!

Dark-Star on September 18, 2010 at 1:07 PM

The more blue states this happens in, the better. 50 state landslide in ’12?

Kataklysmic on September 18, 2010 at 1:12 PM

I think the answer is to give everyone in America “tenure”. Then we’d all have life long insurance and pensions. The “other” people could pay for it all.

Mojave Mark on September 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Really, like the govt should just give everybody a job, and print some checks. Like, then they could, like just print some more money so everybody could buy everything they want. Isn’t Obama gonna pay my mortgage and put gas in my car and pay my health insurance bill? Yay, Obama!

JustTruth101 on September 18, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Yup, it will be like working for the company store for scrip.

onlineanalyst on September 18, 2010 at 1:20 PM

This is a feature not a bug. Just allows the Marxists to vilify the insurance companies and set the stage for a complete government take over. Single payer has always been the goal. Obamacare was designed to drive the insurance companies out of the health insurance business.

Aviator on September 18, 2010 at 1:20 PM

I’m not living in CT anymore, so I don’t have a handle on the current Blumey-McMahon vibe, but there’s no question that Linda should beat this issue to death. A simple question to ask: would insurers be hiking premiums 20% if Obamacare hadn’t been passed? Yes or no? She’s just been tossed a pitch over the heart of the plate. Knock it out of the park. It won’t get any easier than this.

joejm65 on September 18, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Aviator on September 18, 2010 at 1:20 PM

You nailed it. The people who wrote this bill, not any congress critters, were long term thinkers. They knew exactly what they were doing.

Mirimichi on September 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM

It’s really cool how Obama can change economic reality merely by passing a law. What amazing power that guy has. Brilliant! /s

paul1149 on September 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM

This all has something to do with markets, ’cause they have a big effect on the economy an’ stuff.

– Nancy Pelosi, Business Expert

Cicero43 on September 18, 2010 at 1:36 PM

They did want to further vilify the insurance companies to provide a scapegoat for failure and justify more regulations, but they assumed that they would retain power and that the electorate would get used to ObamaCare after a period.

Instead, the public isn’t buying it. And probably never will if the GOP takes the House and defunds the bill. It backfired. The electorate will blame ObamaCare more then the insurance companies.

swamp_yankee on September 18, 2010 at 1:36 PM

The Washington Times gives three more reasons to believe that the Cloward-Piven strategy of ushering in communism by deliberately collapsing the economy under the burden of public spending is alive and well.

Cloward-Piven continues to unfold. Just look at the damage inflicted since he democrats took over Congress in 2006. The 2010 midterms are our last chance to keep the economy from becoming completely derailed.

Delaware is so critical, because the incumbents who are all retiring or being voted out are putty in Obama’s hands, they don’t know how stupid they are, they are true believers, they really think the “liberal utopia” Obama is bringing will solve all the problems with the release of the magic unicorns. They can’t see that California is the result of the liberal dream and preview of what will happen to the rest of the coutnry.

Why is Rove doing what he is doing? Why won’t he support O’Donnell to stop the lame duck congress from driving the fatal stake into America’s heart? WTF? I STILL don’t get how people don’t see what is happening.

JustTruth101 on September 18, 2010 at 1:36 PM

I think it is very important to remember the end-game for liberals is single payer. Just like we knew prices would go up, Obama and Democrats knew not only that prices would go up, but people would complain about it even more than before. It’s their playbook.

Then “of course” they will point to the insurance companies who are not “playing ball” and demand the “middle man” be removed. Hello single payer with a government sponsored entity similar to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac running it.

conservative247 on September 18, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Defeat Barry in 2012 so we do not have to see his ugly mug again. That is one telling shot of the street con.

bayview on September 18, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Are you better off today than you were two years and three trillion dollars ago?

Do you believe your health insurance will be less expensive and more effective under OBmamcare?

If not vote for change 2 and against the incumbant!

dhunter on September 18, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Economic recovery used to depend on comprehensive health care reform. Now it depends on comprehensive House and Senate reform.

IYKWIMAITYD.

SlaveDog on September 18, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Our insurance package for our employees goes up just under 60% next year.

F@#$ you, Obama, Sebelius, et al.

Midas on September 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Somehow I envisioned ‘bending the cost curve’ a little differently than this.

Not really.

GnuBreed on September 18, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Well it’s a start, it will have to be more by the time they cover the 30 million illegals.

tarpon on September 18, 2010 at 2:24 PM

I have a feeling sebelius is going to have a hissy fit over this! She will probably demand waxman hold hearings asap on the greedy insurance companies. I just hope the voters are paying attention and vote for someone who will try to stop this gosh horrible mess.
L

letget on September 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Oh…he would but he has other hearings to hold!!


http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2010/09/would-be-tyrants-waxman-and-weiner-set.html

stacy on September 18, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Do we have grounds for impeachment yet? This appointment, unvetted by senatorial advise and consent and with its out-of-control powers answerable to no one but tax cheat Geither, is nothing short of a coup by the ObaMao regime.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703440604575495681843430198.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

onlineanalyst on September 18, 2010 at 2:39 PM

business experts on the Left

That group is as exclusive as 90 year old Playboy Centerfolds.

NoDonkey on September 18, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Once again, thanks to all that voted for Obama, and these tools in Congress. It’s a good think you voted with an informed mind, otherwise…we’d probably be close to being out of this recession, still have affordable health care, and lower taxes.

As it is, the country is going bankrupt as is every citizen in it. Thank you. From the depths of my behind….thank you!!!

*sigh*

capejasmine on September 18, 2010 at 3:26 PM

How can an insurance company selling health insurance in one of the states end up being regulated by both the federal government and the state government? What if the feds say do this and the state says the opposite? What is the corporation to do?

slickwillie2001 on September 18, 2010 at 3:42 PM

REPEAL

Philly on September 18, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Idiots. Both the administration and the people who voted for him.

byepartisan on September 18, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Pelosi mentioned this. We would like it after reading it. Apparently anthem read it and priced the changes.

HHS Sebelius is going to punish them. Too much truth.

seven on September 18, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Bishop on September 18, 2010 at 12:52 PM

:) It sounds awfully similar to a House Committee in the 50′s. You are a devious one Bishop.

chemman on September 18, 2010 at 5:14 PM

“You’ll be able to buy in, or a small business will be able to buy into this pool,” Mr. Obama said. “And that will lower rates, it’s estimated, by up to 14 to 20 percent over what you’re currently getting. That’s money out of pocket.”

“…rates…up…20 percent…” Just like Obama predicted, who’s calling him a liar?

gekkobear on September 18, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Straight from the top yesterday:

Health Insurance

Anthem came back with an approximate 20% increase to our health premium rates again this year. No one at the company is going to absorb those costs, especially given the increases of the past two years. That amounts to a $2,300 increase for a family.

And so it begins…

singer on September 18, 2010 at 6:39 PM

But, I thought health care was going to be free.

Kissmygrits on September 18, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Yes, the Democrats October surprise comes early…

I wonder if the people of Connecticut, dependent on insurance jobs, might put two and two together on this????

phreshone on September 18, 2010 at 7:43 PM

Hey! Wasn’t it all supposed to be, you know, “free”?

GarandFan on September 18, 2010 at 8:05 PM

But, I thought health care was going to be free.

Kissmygrits on September 18, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Was it specifically stated that it would be free for all?

OldEnglish on September 18, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Were there supposed to be links on the quoted article where it says colonoscopies and mammograms? I clicked on the links but it says link not found.

redeye on September 19, 2010 at 2:39 AM

Dick Blumanthal is the single man in the nation that will make it miss Chris Dodd

Don L on September 19, 2010 at 6:02 AM

But this was always the goal – make sure that the private individual health insurance market becomes as expensive as possible so that it is effectively destroyed.

Of course “employer provided” health insurance is the next target (shhhh…your health insurance benefits at work actually comes from your pay only, but your employers will never tell you that they are paying you a lesser salary by an amount that is equal to the health insurance they “pay”.. )

Obamacare is the gift that keeps on giving to all the socialist parasites who want “universal crap care”

nagee76 on September 19, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Dick Blumanthal is the single man in the nation that will make it miss Chris Dodd

Don L on September 19, 2010 at 6:02 AM

I don’t think anybody could be bad enough to make us miss Chris Dodd. After all, he and Barney were about 80% responsible for this whole mess. Then Dodd threw in financial reform on top of the previous stuff.

duff65 on September 19, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Just goes to prove that there’s no such thing as a free colonoscopy. Who woulda thunk it?

redfoxbluestate on September 20, 2010 at 8:07 AM