What a coincidence! Key states set to announce premium rate increases for 2015

posted at 10:41 am on May 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday I noted that the Obama administration snuck the mechanism and $3.5 billion in funding for an insurer bailout, bypassing Congress and wheedling insurance companies to keep 2015 premiums low. The Hill’s report on the announcement dates for rate hikes explains the timing of this effort. Thirteen states will announce the newly approved rate plans for 2015 — including a handful of those Democrats desperately need to keep in the midterms:

Premiums are expected to go up in a majority of states, as they do every year, but the size of the increases could go a long way toward determining how much political damage Obama-Care inflicts on vulnerable Democratic lawmakers.

A survey by The Hill of state insurance commissioners found that news about ObamaCare premiums will hit nearly every week this summer, providing ample opportunity for Republicans to attack any significant premium hikes.

A slew of states will publish proposed prices in June, including Colorado and Louisiana — where the GOP is targeting Democratic Senate incumbents.

Others will wait until later in the season, including West Virginia and Arkansas. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) voted for the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a fact that his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), has repeatedly raised.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), a top GOP target, will see her state publish rates on Aug. 15 or later.

The need to get these regulatory changes in place now are rather obvious. Insurers who have experienced worse-than-expected demographics in their risk pools will have to substantially raise premiums in 2015 in order to counter the losses that they will incur from their new enrollees. These increases will get announced over the summer, which is bad enough for Democrats in the midterm elections, but will actually hit consumer eyeballs in an up-close-and-personal way in the fall, when open enrollment in both the individual and group markets take place. That will have consumers stunned and angry while marching to their polling stations, exactly what the White House fears most.

Rather than try to head that off with more happy talk, or with some “fixes” on ObamaCare that Democrats regularly endorse and never actually propose, the White House tried this threadbare workaround to sweeten the pot for insurers. This just shifts the costs from one channel to another, with consumers still bearing the load. By shifting it to consumers through the tax system, though, it makes the costs much more indirect and largely invisible, even though it’s quite real.

It’s basically bribery to insurers, as Investors Business Daily’s editorial board writes:

Last Friday, the Obama administration quietly expanded an insurance industry bailout program that it publicly insisted never existed. In exchange, Obama wants a big political favor from insurers. …

Keep in mind that only a few weeks ago, White House officials were denying that any such bailout existed in ObamaCare. The “risk corridor” program at issue, a White House budget spokesman said in March, was merely a “safety valve for consumers and insurers” transitioning to a “brand new market.”

It was, the administration promised, there only to protect insurers temporarily, as a way to encourage them to join ObamaCare, and was just like the one used in the Medicare Part D drug benefit program.

Besides, they said, the ObamaCare risk corridor program would be self-financing, with overly profitable insurers paying in so money-losing ones could take out.

But in his latest budget, Obama proposed setting aside $5.5 billion for the program, just in case. The Times makes clear: Obama expects something big in return.

The expanded guarantee comes, the paper says, “as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.”

In short, Obama is offering the industry virtually unlimited taxpayer bailout money, in hopes that it will return the favor and avoid politically damaging rate hikes, at least until after November’s mid-term elections.

Ironically, the big driver of increasing health-care costs before ObamaCare was price-signal opacity. This attempt at bribing insurers to continue their loss-leader pricing into 2015 by promising a government payoff makes it clear that ObamaCare worsens that problem rather than helps resolve it. Instead of making price opaque for reasons of risk-pool management alone, now we have the added incentive for government to increase opacity for its own political purposes. And this time, we’ll be paying not just in cash, but in increasingly rationed health care.


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Hold on just one consarned minute…so we’re NOT going to see our rates fall by $2500 per year?

But…he said…and I need that money!

Bishop on May 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM

When premiums decline y’all are going to be pissed!

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

NotCoach on May 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM

…won’t cost you ‘one dime’!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Obame is going to be really madder than hell when he hears about this next month.

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM

But it’s for our own good!

LeftCoastRight on May 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

…those damn Republicans!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Hold on just one consarned minute…so we’re NOT going to see our rates fall by $2500 per year?

But…he said…and I need that money!

Bishop on May 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM

“If you like your money…..you can keep your money”.

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Already got mine. +25%

CW20 on May 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM

most voters aren’t gonna care that a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

At least 40 million won’t die in the streets now.

docflash on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

What difference does it make?

ObamaCare is SAVING LIVES every day!!!! Just ask YourBrainOnKoch.

Bitter Clinger on May 22, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Everybody knows that “premium rate increases” is just a dog whistle for folks that don’t like Obame because he’s black…………..

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 10:49 AM

most voters aren’t gonna care that a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Man, you are hilarious.

It won’t be “a few rich guys” forking over more money. It’ll be the average Joe that you think is benefitting from all this government “care”.

Bitter Clinger on May 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Unexpectedly.

Over a dozen posts ahead of me and I can’t believe I dropped this first.

The Schaef on May 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

………..a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

You can’t really be this stupid, can you?

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Good job, NotCoach

You can’t really be this stupid, can you?

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

You’re in a net. TYBOK and dale1 are one and the same, parody with a mis-speller.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM

What part of “the federal government pays 100% of the costs and the state pays 10% of the cost in ten years” do you not understand?

libfreeordie on August 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Near the top of my all-time favorites.

Bishop on May 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM

If there’s anything Obama can do to delay this, he will.

steebo77 on May 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Hey, look, Sen. Rockefeller is of the wrong color, the racist.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Just give it a rest with the constant grievance politics.

libfreeordie on May 15, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch

Before anyone else gets a hook in their mouth read his name carefully.

NotCoach on May 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I thought that they would just say, “hey, it’s gone up this (___) but if it wasn’t for Obamacare it would have gone up (___), second blanked to be filled with a substantially larger number than the first. I thought Rubio was going to try to stop this. Are the insurance companies going to bite, Obama isn’t going to be president forever?

Cindy Munford on May 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I don’t identify as liberal, I identify as progressive-marxist.

libfreeordie on April 30, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

snuck?

formwiz on May 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Am I the only one who saw insanely bad changes to my company’s health care plan this year? It’s a large aerospace/defense company, and this year, to get the same plan as last year, it would cost four times as much. Paying the same, I get basically emergency coverage. I can’t keep track of all these obamacare details, but what the fluck.

dhouse on May 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

What part of “the federal government pays 100% of the costs and the state pays 10% of the cost in ten years” do you not understand?

libfreeordie on August 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Near the top of my all-time favorites.

Bishop on May 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Ninety percent of baseball is half mental. — YogiBerraordie

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

A less ideologically pure specimen might have modified their views in the face of contary facts. But not you! Your fanatical devotion to a discredited argument is hereby recognized.
 
Tlaloc on May 13, 2014 at 8:25 PM

 
Anyone seen Tlaloc lately, btw?

rogerb on May 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Before anyone else gets a hook in their mouth read his name carefully.

NotCoach on May 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Some fish are so easy to get. It’s funny when the sharks get netted…sorry, but it is so obvious that this person is a clown with a big grin.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

You’ve been koched.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The show is over. Exit the theater.
The grownups have entered the chamber, and to the disappointment of a few, we’re not gonna have a govt. shut down.
Exchanges open Oct 1st.
Repubs will start working with Dems now to sort various anomalies that exist…you know, govern and stuff.
Cruz will be adding pages to his mailing list and step up his fundraising.
It’s all going according to plan.
But feel good…you were part of that plan all along.

verbaluce on September 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Looking good, Billy Rae! Feeling good, Louis!

Bishop on May 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM

OT, speaking of Guinea worms

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Hey, look, Sen. Rockefeller is of the wrong color, the racist.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

…the party has their talking points…and they all are participating!…Mooch…Kerry…………….

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Unless, of course, these are being advanced because the increases will be negligible in light of the pending bailout thus aiding the party standing ready to shovel money on them for just that result.

Hucklebuck on May 22, 2014 at 11:02 AM

You’re in a net. TYBOK and dale1 are one and the same, parody with a mis-speller.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM

That’s why I always ask. I have been caught thew other way as well thinking that one or more of our trolls were joking just to find out they were just being stupid.

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 11:03 AM

What part of “the federal government pays 100% of the costs and the state pays 10% of the cost in ten years” do you not understand?

libfreeordie on August 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Near the top of my all-time favorites.

Bishop on May 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM

This one is yours. The following one is my favorite of all:

We now know who lostmotherland is…
In response to the question ‘How do you think Ted Cruz became a Senator?’ one of Hot Air’s resident Progtard ‘scholars’ responded:

‘Gerrymandering.’
- lostmotherland on October 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

So the State of Texas, IN ITS FVCKING ENTIRETY, is gerrymandered?
Gerrymandering only factors into House seats and state/local districts. And, of course, it is not limited to one party
- Me
lostmotherland = Touré
Resist We Much on November 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:04 AM

but I thought mass shootings only occurred in gun-free zones?!

nonpartisan on April 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Another classic

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Oh, so Obama is using my tax dollars to bribe private companies for political favors for his party? That seems normal.

Timin203 on May 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Another classic

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Skeeter guns!

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Latest classic of HA

If anything, the President represents America.

jim56 on May 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Where is everdiso/lester to explain how this is so awesome and reality is a liar?

HumpBot Salvation on May 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

This is going to go down as one of the stupidest unforced errors in geopolitical histiry.

everdiso on May 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Bishop on May 22,Bishop on May 22, 2014 2014

Bishop on May 22, 2014

…LOL!…because YOU KNOW they are lurking on this very thread!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Sometimes it becomes crysral clear that the real problem around here and similar forums is that you guys really aren’t very smart.

everdiso on April 29, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

WTF is this do nothing Congress doing? Aren’t they supposed to reflect the will of the people? Why can’t they prohibit this money from going to this bribery?

inspectorudy on May 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

…LOL!…because YOU KNOW they are lurking on this very thread!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2014 at 11:10 AM

They never comment on threads on which their oaf looks like a puerile azzhole. Mostly they are mooching/looting racist Guinea worms.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Why can’t they prohibit this money from going to this bribery?

inspectorudy on May 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Check between their legs for your answer.

CurtZHP on May 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

WTF is this do nothing Congress doing? Aren’t they supposed to reflect the will of the people? Why can’t they prohibit this money from going to this bribery?

inspectorudy on May 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Because their pockets are stuffed with ins. lobby dough. The Rs are more culpable in the destruction of the land. The D-rats are loyal to their credo.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Somewhere, imbedded in all this crony corporatism is the proviso that will limit the bailouts smaller insurance companies can receive so that larger ones will be left in a more advantageous position.

Guarantee it.

The Big Dogs will be the only ones standing in the pit in a few years- unexpectedly.

No need to slay the Big Dogs, of course. They will work seamlessly with our political masters, as they have in every totalitarian regime throughout history.

Dolce Far Niente on May 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

And yet the Republican party will not run on Obamacare this year. If the Republican party takes control of the senate this November, they will do nothing on Obamacare.

BroncosRock on May 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

most voters aren’t gonna care that a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Dude, you are financially insane. The very rich are self funded. They pay cash and for those who do carry insurance a rate hike won’t hurt them at all. What’s a thousand dollar increase to a millionaire? They spend that on a weekend’s good time. Your Mom is going to be working the streets to pay hers though. It’s all good though, right?

HotAirian on May 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Besides, they said, the ObamaCare risk corridor program would be self-financing, with overly profitable insurers paying in so money-losing ones could take out.

Yeah, ’cause that’s how a free market works! Haven’t you ever heard the saying, “From each according to his profitability, to each according to his loss?”

/I keep trying to educate these homophobes, but it ain’t easy!

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Ever try to talk to a lib about how bad Obama care is? It’s like the Monty Python dead parrot sketch. In that sketch a customer tries to return a parrot that is dead. The pet shop owner than denies it is dead. Comic genius. Obama care arguements with a lib not so much. You tell them it’s a bad bill and they try to convince you that not only that you are wrong , but that premium increased, decreased work hours, increased unemployment, limited networks, high deductibles and rationed care is good for you! I am for dividing the country, one conservative and the other lib. i have no doubt which entity will survive.

warmairfan on May 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

The states represented by Senate Democrats up for re-election will announce their premium rate increases on November 5.

You like ObamaCare? Surprise!!!

Steve Z on May 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

…as Obamacare has caused a 9 million increase in insured individuals. And it do so in a single year.

righty45 on May 8, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Yikes, I just realized it’s much, much worse. We’re doing worst-case, and I’d given best case in previous posts to help righty45′s position. We’ve got to only account for 80% of the newly-insured enrollees having paid, so that’s 2,496,000 people.

And we’ve got to adjust the Medicaid number…

 
Obamacare potentially only covered two million uninsured people.
 
rogerb on May 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

 
I’m genuinely looking forward to the administration’s new numbers.

rogerb on May 22, 2014 at 11:22 AM

If you are so stupid that you don’t know by now that Obamacare is going to double your rates then you shouldn’t vote in November. Sadly there are enough idiots who vote that they will be duped by this bait n switch that they will continue to vote for Obamacare Dems.

neyney on May 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Betting the rates will go down and the insurance companies will get additional backdoor funding via the White House…

albill on May 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I’m confused about this risk corridor thing. My reading of the law said the money to cut the losses of the insurance companies – not to make them whole. That is, the insurance company is covered for either 50% or 80% of their losses for pools that lose money. But that still means the insurance company still loses 50% or 20% for the uncovered cost.

What possible incentive is it for the companies to keep rates low to lose money? Even if the government covers 80% of the losses, the more they lose they more they lose. Not a good business model.

Or is the assumption that the Obama administration is going to ignore the law and just pay out 100%?

lymond on May 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Heatache.

Louey on May 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Derp. Back to swabbing the promenade deck there, Ken – you real ‘mericun…

fortcoins on May 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM

fortcoins on May 22, 2014 at 11:26 AM

A slew of states will publish proposed prices in June, including Colorado and Louisiana

Not if they know what’s good for ‘em…

/Obama administration

DethMetalCookieMonst on May 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM

1) Significantly increasing health insurance rates

– combined with -

2) Reduced quality of care and reduced access to healthcare (shortages, limits, rationing, increased waiting times).

is a direct result of government-forced socialized medicine as exemplified by the vain yet tragic attempt at some sort of “legacy” for Obama known as Obamacare.

This is tragic for the healthcare system in our country. And all to achieve, at least in small part now as he’s failed at everything else, of the pre-planned ‘legacy’ of one vain, yet incompetent first ‘black’ president.

otlset on May 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Seriously, all it would take to derail this would be a statement from the Speaker of the House declaring that Congress has not and will not allocate money for this purpose, and that the president has no authority to take money allocated for one thing and spend it on this.

If businesses aren’t certain they can count on the money they were promised, they’re not going to plan based on it.

The House has one real power in our system of government, and that is that only the House can allocate money. If they let the president usurp that power, they have no leverage at all.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Where is everdiso/lester to explain how this is so awesome and reality is a liar?

HumpBot Salvation on May 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

I’m thinking lester the mo-lester may be in a holding cell today:

Rabbi, Scout leader, Cop Among 71 Arrested in Child Porn Bust

slickwillie2001 on May 22, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Mr. Morrissey, curious to know if the rate increases are higher in the states carrying their own exchanges?

Those exchanges are required to be self-supporting by 2015. Recommendations were to shift these costs to the insurance companies in the exchange (which will ultimately be shifted to the consumer in one way or another).

Just wondering if there was a discernible difference. Thanks.

lineholder on May 22, 2014 at 11:45 AM

I’m confused about this risk corridor thing. My reading of the law said the money to cut the losses of the insurance companies – not to make them whole. That is, the insurance company is covered for either 50% or 80% of their losses for pools that lose money. But that still means the insurance company still loses 50% or 20% for the uncovered cost.

What possible incentive is it for the companies to keep rates low to lose money? Even if the government covers 80% of the losses, the more they lose they more they lose. Not a good business model.

Or is the assumption that the Obama administration is going to ignore the law and just pay out 100%?

lymond on May 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

The way the corridor works is, -if the insurance company makes ‘too much’ money, the government takes some of it from them to keep them inside the corridor. The insurance companies are limited from a significant loss, but also from a significant ‘profit’, even though many of them are non-profits.

slickwillie2001 on May 22, 2014 at 11:47 AM

So when will King Barack the Magnificent tell us that he just ‘learned of this in the morning newspaper’?

GarandFan on May 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM

I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to see that gambling is going on in the backrooms of the White House!

vnvet on May 22, 2014 at 12:02 PM

So Obama is openly using the treasury to fund democrat senate races.

I guess there is nothing that the GOP will do to fight yet another illegal and unconstitutional action by our historic first black president.

Welcome to third world banana republic status of a nation of men and not laws.

jukin3 on May 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

This money can (apparently) be promised at a whim. But the follow-thru can be dropped if convenient.

Not sure I’d want to operate a business on that type of flimsy revenue stream.

AeroSpear on May 22, 2014 at 12:06 PM

AeroSpear on May 22, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Oh come on now. You can trust King Barky the Liar.

jukin3 on May 22, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Progressives (?), liars, cheats, criminals – if this is progress, please stop digging.

Chuck Ef on May 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

The elections of 2014 and 2016 will NOT be about jobs, the economy or immigration. It will be about WHO DO YOU BELIEVE. Which “PARTY” exhibits the truth and varsity to be elected.

jpcpt03 on May 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

As Obama BAILS OUT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES USING TAX PAYER DOLLARS…”premium rate increases for 2015“…

BOHICA, America!

(BOHICA – Bend Over, Here It Comes Again)

(Also, pay good attention to the VA Health Care Scandal — This IS the Single-Payer system that Obama and the democrats want to create in the U.S.!)

easyt65 on May 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM

most voters aren’t gonna care that a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Please tell me that you just forgot the sarc tag. I Haven’t seen you around before and I need to know whether to class you under the poster with a deep streak of cynicism column or the just another idiot troll column.

Oldnuke on May 22, 2014 at 12:26 PM

I am for dividing the country, one conservative and the other lib. i have no doubt which entity will survive.

warmairfan on May 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I strongly agree! The problem is setting the boundaries. I say the rules will be that each country sets its own Constitution. The conservative country needs to have a “bullet-proof” constitution that liberal infiltrators can’t then ruin with their big government rule. This will discourage liberals from trying to change things because they won’t be able to change anything. No ammendments. Deal with it or leave! It will be only a few years at best and the liberal country will fall while the conservative country will thrive.

Decoski on May 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Campaigned on fraud, elected twice on fraud, governs on fraud, a fraud.

rjoco1 on May 22, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Please tell me that you just forgot the sarc tag. I Haven’t seen you around before and I need to know whether to class you under the poster with a deep streak of cynicism column or the just another idiot troll column.

Oldnuke on May 22, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Yeah…I’m thinking this is another FrankLib/Bishop sock puppet.

BigWyo on May 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The way the corridor works is, -if the insurance company makes ‘too much’ money, the government takes some of it from them to keep them inside the corridor. The insurance companies are limited from a significant loss, but also from a significant ‘profit’, even though many of them are non-profits.

slickwillie2001 on May 22, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Thanks, right, that’s how it’s supposed to work. I’m assuming that all the extra money that Obama is talking about spending is because not enough insurers will make a profit to cover the losses.

I’ve read that the extra money is a way to make sure insurers know that their losses will be covered so they can keep their rates low (and basically have printed money subsidize the entire system). But within the confines of the corridor, the companies are still only covered for up to 80% of their losses. They would still lose money. Why (other than not wanted to get audited etc.) would they offer lower rates knowing that would still lose money?

The only way that makes sense if if the money they’re talking about would cover all losses (plus maybe a little profit).

lymond on May 22, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Yeah…I’m thinking this is another FrankLib/Bishop sock puppet.

BigWyo on May 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Yeah I divined that from his name. I think somebody took advantage of that last open enrollment to suck up a few ID’s. FrankLib posts some funny stuff, of course Bishop is a national treasure. Pity only we here on HotAir know about him.

Oldnuke on May 22, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Somewhere, imbedded in all this crony corporatism is the proviso that will limit the bailouts smaller insurance companies can receive so that larger ones will be left in a more advantageous position.

Guarantee it.

The Big Dogs will be the only ones standing in the pit in a few years- unexpectedly.

No need to slay the Big Dogs, of course. They will work seamlessly with our political masters, as they have in every totalitarian regime throughout history.

Dolce Far Niente on May 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

I agree that one of their goals is to drive small businesses out of business, and either directly or indirectly control the big businesses (taking them over, a la GM, when necessary to achieve their desired outcomes).

If you’ll permit me to quote a comment I wrote two years ago…

The game plan of the Democrats/Progressives/Communists is to control everyone. The hardest person to control is the person who is in business for himself/herself.

So the game plan of the Democrats/Progressives/Communists is drive the small businesses out of business, and take over the big businesses (like GM, etc.)

Then, everyone will work for either the Government, or a Government-owned employer.

When someone controls your paycheck, they have incredible power over you. They can make your life hell in an instant if they cut off your income stream and you are in debt.

And they are trying to put every college student into debt.

It’s all about power and control. And OF COURSE the Dems want to bring independent business owners to their knees.

ITguy on April 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

ITguy on May 22, 2014 at 1:04 PM

………..a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

You can’t really be this stupid, can you?

VegasRick on May 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

“there historicaly” – significant evidence shows he can be exactly that stupid.

LarryinLA on May 22, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Clearly this requires a voxplanation.

The Schaef on May 22, 2014 at 1:13 PM

most voters aren’t gonna care that a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

…says the person supporting the party of big insurance and shovelling them money to pay multi-million dollar 1%’er CEOs!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THAT BIG INSURANCE!!!

Run away little troll. My brain on Koch is smarter than yours on “hope and change”, a proven mind-altering substance that destroys all semblance of reality and leaves its user in a blubbering, lemming-like state.

dominigan on May 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Oldnuke on May 22, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I was beginning to suspect it, but I have such fun toying with liberals. If nothing else, its practice for the handful of liberal relatives I have.

dominigan on May 22, 2014 at 1:19 PM

most voters aren’t gonna care that a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

ObamaCare robs 700 BILLION DOLLARS from Medicare and forks it over to the exact few rich guys you’re whining about, you blithering moron.

Chuck Schick on May 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

No matter how much you spend the cost keeps going up.

Strange, that, as just the opposite was promised.

ajacksonian on May 22, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Impeach this A$$Wipe now!
He cannot rule by fiat.

While we are at it….
Get rid of all the congressmen who refuse to hold his feet to the Constitutional boundaries written in the law. Don’t un-elect them, summarily remove them for failing to uphold the oath they SWORE to.

I’m tired of this Sh_t.

Hammie on May 22, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Will these new rates include the $2500/year savings…?

d1carter on May 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

At least 40 million won’t die in the streets now.

docflash on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Waiting to be seen?? That is different.

Hammie on May 22, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Insurance companies aren’t going to go broke to help Obama, who is getting very close to full-blown Lame Duck Status already. And they don’t get subsidies under the Risk Corridors unless they LOSE money on premiums for the previous year, and all they get is ALMOST enough to break even.

As I’ve explained before, breaking even on health premiums is in effect heading towards bankruptcy in this industry. They MUST make a profit on claims experience virtually every year because that money goes into investments to cover future losses.

Insurance executives have a responsibility under law to their shareholders. Failure to watch out for that equity can send you to jail.

The folly of what “Obama’s budget proposes” just shows ignorance. Even the Democratic Senate will not be voting on a budget this year.

Adjoran on May 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Popular

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Not sure I’d want to operate a business on that type of flimsy revenue stream.

AeroSpear on May 22, 2014 at 12:06 PM

They’re not asking.

You’ll operate your business how you’re told to operate it.

Any more questions?

runawayyyy on May 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM

most voters aren’t gonna care that a few rich guys have to fork over a little more of there historicaly unprecendented profits for the rest of us to finally all be covered. saving lives is more important to most voters than protecting the stolen gold of the wealthy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

That’s just what the VA told me they were doing. And on schedule too!!!

runawayyyy on May 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM

I wrote this yesterday on another thread, but I believe it bears repeating.

This is a very bad thing, and not just for the obvious reason. The insurance industry as a whole has really been unfairly demonized. Please hold your fury for a moment and please bear with me here.

When this was being put together the major insurers were told, (paraphrasing) “you either support us or you’re toast; we will write HHS regs in such a way that non-supporters will be disallowed from the exchanges, and you will be subjected to bad PR campaigns, and regulatory compliance costs the likes of which you could only imagine”. While every state has a “board of insurance” they must still comply with federal law and state law. If you read the entire ACA, you know there are over 216 instances where it stipulates “the Secretary shall… ” essentially make it up as she goes along. And, the ACA funding is fungible and may be altered by the Secretary any time she chooses to do so. The major insurers knew if they didn’t play ball they would be destroyed and they all have share holders to consider. Faced with the proverbial rock-and-hard-place, they chose hard place and hoped for the best. Most lay people don’t know that insurance companies are only allowed to pay claims (medical bills in this case) with premiums collected. No operating costs come out of premiums; that comes from profit realized by the financial services arena most companies have as the other side of business, (whole life, IRAs, annuities, etc. They also (by state law) must have on-hand, at all times, enough cash reserve to pay all exposures. That is the whole point of underwriting and actuarial standards. If they fail to maintain the cash reserve, they could lose their appointment to operate in said state. (This has already happened to some smaller insurers.) With the ACA eliminating underwriting, forcing coverage and services to be provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the insured, capping what can be charged in premium for certain age groups that gobble up the vast majority of health care services, etc.etc., you have what we are seeing today: evidence of risk pools that are severely lopsided, and greatly increased costs to support “free” services to insureds, causing insurers to literally bleed cash. Their only recourse is to raise premiums if they want to survive. Which, of course, O is not going to allow right before election day. The Fascist bastard is going to indemnify the insurers come hell or high water to attempt to shield the dems in the midterms. And of course, he will throw the insurers under the bus, because the LIVs will believe whatever he says, and very few are willing to stand up for the industry. The insurance companies DID NOT want this. Their choices were shit soup or shit sandwich, and well, at least the sandwich has bread to absorb a little of the taste.

Thank you for reading; I apologize for the length of my rant. You may now return to regular programming.

fresh air on May 21, 2014 at 8:58 PM

fresh air on May 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM

ER Visits spiking

lineholder on May 22, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Interesting post, Fresh Air. It just seems odd that no leaders in that industry could say a word against this before all the damage was done. Contrast this with the notorious public support of the AMA, AARP and HMO foundation traitors. It’s just hard to see them as victims here.

virgo on May 24, 2014 at 10:45 AM