Sebelius: Well, yeah actually, ObamaCare is causing insurance premiums to rise

posted at 8:31 pm on March 27, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

As you might remember, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was largely sold to the American people on the premise that it would help to make health care and health insurance more… well… affordable. Au contraire, says yet another study fleshing out the practical effects of the ObamaCare mandate:

Under the Affordable Care Act, medical claim costs, the largest driver of health insurance premiums, are expected to increase by 32 percent for individuals, a new study by the Society of Actuaries finds.

Though some states might see declines in cost-per-person medical claims, the report found “the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets, where people purchase coverage directly from insurers,” the Associated Press reports.

California’s claim costs are estimated to increase by 62 percent by 2017. In Ohio, it’s expected to be 80 percent. Florida costs are expected to grow 20 percent and in Maryland, 67 percent. The higher claim costs are related to the increase in sick people expected to join the pool, according to the report.

But that’s not really unexpected news, if you’ve been paying attention. The unexpected news is that HHS Secretary Sebelius admitted that these individual-insurance premiums are going to be going up, directly because of ObamaCare. Gasp:

Some people purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could see premiums rise because of requirements in the health-care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Tuesday.

Ms. Sebelius’s remarks come weeks before insurers are expected to begin releasing rates for plans that start on Jan. 1, 2014, when key provisions of the health law kick in. Premiums have been a sensitive subject for the Obama administration, which is counting on elements in the health law designed to increase competition among insurers to keep rates in check. The administration has pointed to subsidies that will be available for many lower-income Americans to help them with the cost of coverage.

The secretary’s remarks are among the first direct statements from federal officials that people who have skimpy health plans right now could face higher premiums for plans that are more generous. …

“These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, and so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market,” she said. “But we feel pretty strongly that with subsidies available to a lot of that population that they are really going to see much better benefit for the money that they’re spending.”

Translation:

Dear Younger and Healthier People,

You will help shoulder the burdens and higher costs of ObamaCare — both through your taxes that go toward subsidies, and by paying for a particular health insurance plan that you yourselves might neither want nor need — and you will like it. You’re welcome.

Sincerely,

ObamaCare.


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