Obama admin: By the way, we’re going to need insurers to pay to use our exchanges

posted at 5:01 pm on December 2, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

I thought ObamaCare was going to be so awesomely efficient and innovative, and know how to accomplish things so much better than the free market, that all of the associated health care costs were going to go down, insurance was going to get more affordable, and none of this was going to have any adverse effects on the middle class, or something? Via the NYT:

The Obama administration said Friday that it would charge insurance companies for the privilege of selling health insurance to millions of Americans in new online markets run by the federal government.

The cost of these “user fees” can be passed on to consumers. The proposed fees could add 3.5 percent to premiums for private health plans sold in insurance exchanges operated by the federal government.

In proposing the new rule, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said that fees charged by the federal government would be “sufficient to cover the majority of costs related to the operation of federally facilitated exchanges.” She did not say how the remainder of the money would be raised. …

Fees charged for use of the federal exchange come on top of a separate annual fee to be imposed on health insurance companies to help offset the cost of expanding coverage under the new law. The annual fees, to be apportioned among insurers according to their shares of the nation’s health insurance market, are expected to total $6 billion in 2014 and more than $100 billion over 10 years.

Just getting these supposedly fabulous online insurance marketplaces set up is already turning into an unmitigated disaster — what on earth is going to happen when we finally get down to the business of actually insuring and caring for people? Rolling this thing out, the Obama administration is looking like a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off, and their unpreparedness in dealing with their own Frankenstein’s monster is showcasing all of the new costs and consequences coming with it.

The delusion that ObamaCare is going to do anything except turn our entire health care system into much more of an expensive, inefficient, bureaucratic nightmare than it already is, is quickly wearing thin — and we’ve barely even gotten started.


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