WH trying to pre-empt sticker shock on September premium increases

posted at 8:41 am on July 7, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

And well they might. Insurers got a close look at the profiles of the enrollees in the individual health-insurance market this spring, and they turned out to be sicker than projected, as the “young invincibles” took a pass on ObamaCare in 2014. That means that premiums will go up in the fall in order to cover the added expense of the higher-risk enrollments — and that has the Obama administration spin team working extra hard this summer to cover their rear ends just before the midterms:

Most state health insurance rates for 2015 are scheduled to be approved by early fall, and most are likely to rise, timing that couldn’t be worse for Democrats already on defense in the midterms.

The White House and its allies know they’ve been beaten in every previous round of Obamacare messaging, never more devastatingly than in 2010. And they know the results this November could hinge in large part on whether that happens again.

So they’re trying to avoid — or at least, get ahead of — any September surprise.

This assumes that the problems with ObamaCare only have to do with messaging. That’s only true to the extent that the previous messaging from the administration has been proven either entirely wrong or flat-out lies. “You can keep your plan” ended up as the Lie of the Year for 2013 when millions of people who already had insurance got kicked out of their existing plans for 2014, and forced to pay more for less coverage in many instances. Barack Obama had promised that his reforms would lower premiums by $2500 a year for a family of four, but premiums have skyrocketed since the passage of ObamaCare, and they’ll do the same again in September.

This isn’t a messaging issue at all any longer. This is a pocketbook issue:

With Democrats looking to hang on to Senate seats in many Republican-leaning states, they’ll be hoping that the final numbers don’t come in anywhere near the 24.6 percent hike that report from the anti-Obamacare Heritage Foundation projected for a family of four in Arkansas, or even the 13.1 percent increase in Alaska or 12.4 percent in Louisiana.

So far, although no state has finalized its rate, 21 have posted bids for 2015. Average preliminary premiums went up in all 21, though only a few by double digits.

Remember how ObamaCare was supposed to “bend the cost curve downward”? Good times, good times. And the real problem for the White House won’t be the second round of price increases in the individual markets this fall. It will be the price spikes in the employer-based group markets, which will impact tens of millions of Americans. Businesses will have to start planning for those premium hikes in the next few weeks, and the increases in premiums, co-pays, and reductions in coverage and/or provider networks will be apparent to these voters at the beginning of October — a month or so before the midterms.

The White House can prep the spin all it wants, but they shot their credibility with the “you can keep your plan” and “cost curve” promises long ago. Spin won’t help to do much but artificially raise the morale of the True Believers, a circle that grows smaller and smaller as time wears on, as Obama’s approval ratings demonstrate.

Meanwhile, the entire subsidy structure might collapse today or this week at the appellate court … but don’t count on it:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is expected to rule any day now in a lawsuit that aims to block the law’s insurance subsidies in more than half the country. If the challengers ultimately prevail, the Affordable Care Act’s complex framework could begin to unravel as millions of people lose financial assistance.

For now, the stakes are a lot higher than the odds of success—challenges to the insurance subsidies have a 0-2 record in federal courts. But the pending D.C. Circuit ruling may be the one to break that streak, according to legal experts on both sides of the issue.

A three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the case, Halbig v. Sebelius, in March. Two judges appeared to split along partisan lines, leaving Judge Thomas Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee, as the likely swing vote. Griffith seemed during oral arguments to at least be open to the challengers’ arguments, and perhaps leaning in their direction.

A ruling against the Obama administration wouldn’t immediately damage the Affordable Care Act, and it wouldn’t mean that the administration will ultimately lose. But it would give the challengers their first victory and ensure that the issue keeps moving through the courts.

Allahpundit and Gabriel Malor have already addressed Halbig, so be sure to read up on their primers. It seems unlikely that the court will overturn the exchanges based on the differences cited by the plaintiffs in this matter, but it’s still possible. The overall intent of Congress in the ACA was clearly to make subsidies available nationwide, and there seems to be little reason to consider the federal exchange out of bounds when the thrust of the ACA was to federalize control of the health-insurance market. Stranger things have happened in courts, though, like … calling the nation’s first peacetime command economy mandate a tax. The Origination Clause complaint has a chance along those lines, although also a long shot. I’m just not sure which is the longest long shot.


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

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

NotCoach on July 7, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Barry doesn’t care. He can golf whenever he likes, has a private 747 at his beck and call, and Mooch can have all the lobster she wants even as children starve at school.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 8:50 AM

My reply at Politico who’s confirming the “spin”:

In what aides say is a sign of a changed approach within the White House — but also heightened concerns around the midterms — they’re even coordinating with Hill Democrats, funneling localized background analysis and talking points to each state’s delegation through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. They’ve also relied on California Rep. Henry Waxman’s staff at the Energy and Commerce Committee to produce rebuttal reports, often in advance, on GOP claims about insurance.

Just a few facts here that the Obama administration and the Democratic Party claimed as positive reasons to support the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act:

1) “Families who purchase private health insurance through state-based exchanges could save up to $2,300 on their health care each year.” FALSE

2) The promise that the Affordable Health Care Act WAS NOT A TAX, and Americans making less than $250,000 would not see a tax increase from this administration. FALSE ON BOTH ACCOUNTS

3) And still the most famous words from both Democrats and President Obama: If you like your plan, and your Doctor, you can keep them. Again FALSE on all accounts.

There is nothing, repeat nothing, that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, or the Democratic Party can say to refute the outright blatant lies they told to the American public when selling this still impending train-wreck. As the “Obama-delayed” employer mandate begins to kick in this fall, millions more will come to realize this law, (which was passed by 100% partisan vote by Democrats only, with zero support from Republicans, and 60% of the public rejecting the bill “as written”), was passed on fallacies and fabrications purposely derived to deceive the American public.

At this point, any claims by Mr. Obama and the Democrats, (that premium increases are some how going down or have become stable under ObamaCare), has to be taken a face value, and the track record of consistent lies doesn’t bode well for the Democratic Party in November.

~Rovin

Rovin on July 7, 2014 at 8:50 AM

People are already forgetting that what they had was better. The electorate has a 30 second memory, sadly.

MT on July 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

All the spin in the world disappears immediately as soon as someone has to actually write a premium check.

tommyboy on July 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

“Nobody out there knows anything about the medical-loss ratio,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who’s become the Senate point man for Obamacare rapid response.. “if the premium increase is too high, you get your money back. That’s a pretty easy thing to explain.”

Yep. That’s the ticket. LOL!

kevinkristy on July 7, 2014 at 8:59 AM

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

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

NotCoach on July 7, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Never gets and still, their blind ignorance never fails to piss me off.

My younger brother is safe with a care plan through ComCast, with small changes. The older brother works in a store that shelved a years old plan for health care to his full-timers because of the ACA.

hawkdriver on July 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

He’ll delay it again…c’mon…..he doesn’t follow the law anyway

cmsinaz on July 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

All the spin in the world disappears immediately as soon as someone has to actually write a premium check.

tommyboy on July 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Exactly. Obamavoters might not know very much but you can’t spin away that doubling of your health premium being deducted from the paycheck.

Who am I kidding? Obamavoters don’t get paychecks, they get EBT and welfare checks…

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Yes, but has anybody assigned those poor but heroic immigrants coming over our racist southern border some VA caseworkers to get them enrolled and subsidized in Obamacare?

/

M240H on July 7, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Let them spin all they want.People are going to be able to pay the increases or not.The ones that can’t pay will join the uninsured.

docflash on July 7, 2014 at 9:04 AM

I have hated O’care since its conceptual formation. I hate it even worse now, I just received notice my premium (and for my company) will increase by 62.5% in October! Please someone somewhere KILL this monster!

hip shot on July 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM

He’ll delay it again…c’mon…..he doesn’t follow the law anyway

cmsinaz on July 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

I don’t think he will this time. The employer mandate has to kick in to complete the destruction of the private healthcare system.

Not to mention it will cause a lot of jobs to be lost, Obama wants that.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM

tommyboy on July 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 9:02 AM

It’ll be spun (and believed) to have somehow been caused by Conservatives and the Republicans somehow interfering or not getting involved enough. Flip a coin for which angle they want to try.

hawkdriver on July 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM

“Nobody out there knows anything about the medical-loss ratio,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who’s become the Senate point man for Obamacare rapid response.. “if the premium increase is too high, you get your money back. That’s a pretty easy thing to explain.”

Huh? So the government is going to cover the entire premium hike? If that’s the case, we’ll just be paying higher taxes(or go into even more debt) in order to subsidize everyone. That’s like taking money out of one pocket and placing it in the other.

Doughboy on July 7, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I have hated O’care since its conceptual formation. I hate it even worse now, I just received notice my premium (and for my company) will increase by 62.5% in October! Please someone somewhere KILL this monster!

hip shot on July 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Holy smokes!

gophergirl on July 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Never gets and still, their blind ignorance never fails to piss me off.

My younger brother is safe with a care plan through ComCast, with small changes. The older brother works in a store that shelved a years old plan for health care to his full-timers because of the ACA.

hawkdriver on July 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Your younger brother may still remain better off than your older brother, but unfortunately the employer mandate is likely to pinch him as well this year.

NotCoach on July 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM

The regime in the WH can see the mid terms coming from here but they couldn’t see isis coming with their gift guns 6 months ago. Wait til seniors find out about all the new wonderful changes to MC the regime announced last Friday afternoon. Never mind keeping your doctor, just try to find one willing to take you.

Kissmygrits on July 7, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Patterico thinks the court will rule against ACA on the subsidies…

“Last week, citing a post by Allahpundit, I mentioned the case that could kill most ObamaCare subsidies: Halbig v. Sebelius. I have now listened to the oral argument (.mp3 audio download) from the appeal in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and I am now convinced that the judges on the panel will rule 2-1 against Obama. As the title implies, this is a Big F*cking Deal, and I’d like to go through the highlights of the oral argument to explain why I think so….”

http://patterico.com/2014/07/07/a-halbig-fcking-deal-the-triumph-of-textualism-over-the-intent-argument-that-leftists-hope-will-save-obamacare/

workingclass artist on July 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM

I don’t need to wait. I’m already paying the increases as of this year. Our premium is almost $1800 a month. Good times, I tell ya, good times.

USNCVN on July 7, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Who are you going to believe, us or your lying ass insurance company’s bill?

rightside on July 7, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The White House can prep the spin all it wants, but they shot their credibility with the “you can keep your plan” and “cost curve” promises long ago. Spin won’t help to do much but artificially raise the morale of the True Believers, a circle that grows smaller and smaller as time wears on, as Obama’s approval ratings demonstrate.

Like Fed-Ex: When you just have to have “shovel-ready” spin overnight!

Rovin on July 7, 2014 at 9:15 AM

I thought premiums were supposed to go down 1,200%…?

Akzed on July 7, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Not a problem! King Barack the Magnificent has a phone and a pen! He’ll call those NASTY GREEDY insurance companies and tell them NO RAISES!

After all, He IS the “Smartest Man in the World”! Took Econ 101 at the University of Zimbabwe.

GarandFan on July 7, 2014 at 9:16 AM

hawkdriver on July 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Your younger brother may still remain better off than your older brother, but unfortunately the employer mandate is likely to pinch him as well this year.

NotCoach on July 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Surprised you understood my comment the way I mistyped it.

Never gets “old” and ….

But you’re right. Who the he11 knows anymore. The wife and I get very conflicting letters every couple months about the TriCare we elected to maintain when I retired. The original plan was primary care locally through civilian doctors under TC if you retired no greater than 41 miles from a military installation. We received one letter recently that alluded to us going back to Womack Hospital for all of our care. That isn’t ideal because even though we pay for TriCare insurance, if gives you the feeling you are burdening the doctors who care for active duty men and women.

Didn’t hear anything else about that. But people shouldn’t have to deal with those uncertainties. It really gives you the impression they’re inventing it as they go.

hawkdriver on July 7, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Obama will do anything to crush the middle class.

tim c on July 7, 2014 at 9:24 AM

gives you the impression they’re inventing it as they go.

hawkdriver on July 7, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Gives?

I think it is pretty obvious, by all the amendments and changes, they are trying to fix this plane in flight.

right2bright on July 7, 2014 at 9:25 AM

After hearing about this like the rest of us, from the News,
Obama will be Pizzed about this!

ToddPA on July 7, 2014 at 9:26 AM

I was outraged by stories like this last year. I thought all the collective outrage at the executive’s unprecedented meddling in the private market would lead to swift and strong congressional push back.

If Obama declared himself dictator then the republicans might hold a hearing – or sue him.

BoxHead1 on July 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

The ones that can’t pay will join the uninsured.

docflash on July 7, 2014 at 9:04 AM

No, unfortunately, that won’t happen…he won’t allow the uninsured to increase.

You, and I, my friend will be picking up the tab and paying for the “uninsured”.

right2bright on July 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

The Buffalo News over the past year: Obamacare is lowering premiums for NY.

A local TV news Facebook page had a link to Yahoo/AP article: NY premiums about to skyrocket.

The disconnect these people have with reality is profound.

mjbrooks3 on July 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

OT…Who’s up for some Swine Flu?

Two illegal child immigrants now confirmed to have SWINE FLU in Texas as number of people in quarantine hits 120

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2683034/Two-illegal-child-immigrants-confirmed-SWINE-FLU-Texas-number-people-quarantine-hits-120.html#ixzz36mzN8bEY
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

workingclass artist on July 7, 2014 at 9:30 AM

It seems unlikely that the court will overturn the exchanges based on the differences cited by the plaintiffs in this matter, but it’s still possible. The overall intent of Congress in the ACA was clearly to make subsidies available nationwide, and there seems to be little reason to consider the federal exchange out of bounds when the thrust of the ACA was to federalize control of the health-insurance market.

Respectfully, Mr. Morrissey, stick to what you know. Courts have specific rules they follow for evaluating statutes, and it’s extremely evident you’re unfamiliar with them. Know your limits.

Jazz on July 7, 2014 at 9:31 AM

https://www.etsy.com/listing/169589518/hoop-earrings-14k-solid-yellow-gold?ref=listing-0

Especially the economic refugees, from places that are no more violent than Chicagoland

clnurnberg on July 7, 2014 at 9:31 AM

They can lie and spin all they want. That won’t change the fact that Obamacare is capturing the country’s discretionary income. Premium increases, higher deductibles and copays, higher caps, and apprehension kill spending. The economy is going to tank however much they lie.

Viator on July 7, 2014 at 9:32 AM

I have no idea how that happened thought I copied this: You, and I, my friend will be picking up the tab and paying for the “uninsured”.

right2bright on July 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

clnurnberg on July 7, 2014 at 9:32 AM

If plain language and obvious demonstrated intent, including documents from the Democrats in Congress specifically citing this trap aren’t enough to get the court to stand up to the Executive branch we are done. Finished.

This case couldn’t be clearer, and one might wish the Congress would stand up for itself, and I do, and one might wish elections had made obvious the people’s hate for Obamacare, and I do, but if the courts have any purpose in reviewing government action EVER, its here and now.

MTF on July 7, 2014 at 9:34 AM

The Stupid here is EPIC. The American people have no recourse against Obamacare. When Obamacare was being debated Congress ignored the American people who were opposed to Obamacare over 70 percent.

Millions of Americans writing, faxing, emailing, calling and showing up in person to demand that their congress person oppose Obamacare had ZERO effect in Congresses decision.

Neither Congress, the President of the United States nor the SCOTUS gives a rats backside what Americans want with regard to Obamacare. The writing is clearly on the wall for all to read if they only will. The American Republic is as dead as a doornail, we now live in a Marxist State ruled by a self anointed Political aristocracy.

How many laws are already on the books regarding who may enter the United States and under what conditions? Yet we are constantly having those political Aristocrats tell us we need immigration reform?

We do not need immigration reform, we need the existing laws enforced.

oscarwilde on July 7, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Employers are already making adjustments. As Stephen Green pointed out today on PJ, the number of full-time employees fell by over half a million last month while the number of part-time employees went up by almost 800,000.

All predictable and predicted.

HakerA on July 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Plenty of new Warren voters and Obamacare consumers are being imported as we speak.

Viator on July 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Jazz on July 7, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Oh, your explanation was soo much more fact filled and not a generalization at all. Well done. It was nothing like the rudest comment I’ve ever seen addressed to one of the writers here before. Be proud of yourself. You’ve put one of the nicer folks making political commentary in his place you did.

When you’re all through dropping poo bombs, consider pulling the stick from your rump.

hawkdriver on July 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM

The overall intent of Congress in the ACA was clearly to make subsidies available nationwide

Congress can intend all it wants but it needs to write the statute in line with those intentions. The language could not be clearer:

Section 1311 establishes the state exchanges
Section 1321 establishes the federal exchange
Section 1401 establishes the subsidies for exchanges set up in section 1311.

If it just said exchanges, there’d be ambiguity but it specifically mentions section 1311. There is no ambiguity. If the judge rules for the administration, he is ruling for legislation by intent which opens up a whole nother can of worms.

Occams Stubble on July 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM

This law has many,many landmines for the administration.

sorrowen on July 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM

There is NO WAY OBAMA WILL RELEASE THE NUMBERS BEFORE THE ELECTION

HopeHeFails on July 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

This law has many,many landmines for the administration.

sorrowen on July 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM

It has MANY more bombs for the public. There is a slew of new policies and programs just waiting to be unleash, all at the “pleasure” of the HHS secretary.

Obamacare is not just about health insurance. And if you read the complete bill, you’ll see what I mean. It literally rewrites how our health care system, from bottom to top, is run.

Walter L. Newton on July 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Where’s the troll and his Kaiser propaganda?

22044 on July 7, 2014 at 10:01 AM

This law has many,many landmines for the administration.
sorrowen on July 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM
It has MANY more bombs for the public. There is a slew of new policies and programs just waiting to be unleash, all at the “pleasure” of the HHS secretary.
Obamacare is not just about health insurance. And if you read the complete bill, you’ll see what I mean. It literally rewrites how our health care system, from bottom to top, is run.
Walter L. Newton on July 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Obama will destroy the dem party just to keep his bill intact his ego is truly immense.

sorrowen on July 7, 2014 at 10:11 AM

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

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

NotCoach on July 7, 2014 at 8:47 AM

For a professor of something livoffu ain’t too bright. I wonder if he even bothered to try to understand the ACA. As an employer I can vouch for its dastardly and intended consequences.

cthemfly on July 7, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Jazz on July 7, 2014 at 9:31 AM

…respectfully?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

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

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

And when you get a clue, your job with the DNC is over

txdoc on July 7, 2014 at 10:19 AM

At least this isn’t happening

Unexpectedly!

formwiz on July 7, 2014 at 10:24 AM

He’ll call those NASTY GREEDY insurance companies and tell them NO RAISES!

GarandFan on July 7, 2014 at 9:16 AM

This is a very real possibility. Or, a subsidy (from our pockets, of course) to the insurers to prevent the premium increase.

GWB on July 7, 2014 at 10:41 AM

The Buffalo News over the past year: Obamacare is lowering premiums for NY.

A local TV news Facebook page had a link to Yahoo/AP article: NY premiums about to skyrocket.

The disconnect these people have with reality is profound.

mjbrooks3 on July 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Wait till the general public begins to realize every bit of pablum they are fed by mainstream media is just agitprop for DC politicians.

Most will prefer to continue to choom the hope bong.

workingclass artist on July 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Speculation is silly…Obama will simply delay any new price changes till after the election. (Please, do not tell me he has no legal authority to do such a thing. This is Obama)

JIMV on July 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Dear Leader is in meetings with insurance companies concocting a secret buy off I bet.
The public will be told “See how it’s working?!” while trillions of dollars are pumped into the gaping maw of Big Insurance.

Tard on July 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Where’s the troll and his Kaiser propaganda?
 
22044 on July 7, 2014 at 10:01 AM

 
This one?
 

http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/survey-of-non-group-health-insurance-enrollees-findings-final1.pdf
 
But since you ignore every bit of data that refutes you I have no intention of wasting my time listening to your “Nyuhuh!”r routine again.
 
Tlaloc on June 26, 2014 at 8:32 PM

 
From his link:
 

…nearly six in ten (57 percent) of those with Exchange coverage were uninsured prior to purchasing their current plan… Most of this group had been uninsured for a long time – seven in ten (71 percent) say that before buying their current plan they had been uninsured for two years or more

 

71% of 57% of 8 million enrollees = 3.24 million previously uninsured.
 
Three million people.

rogerb on July 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM

and Mooch can have all the lobster she wants even as she makes children starve at school.

ConstantineXI on July 7, 2014 at 8:50 AM

The depth of their sense of royal entitlement is stunning. She eats lobster, her kids eat chef prepared lunches, no party is too hardy for an evening at the White House….but let the commoners in school eat wilted lettuce sandwiches, and their commoner parents eat crap sandwiches.

NOMOBO on July 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

“That left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama in a dilemma. Everyone assumed that the Christmas Eve 2009 Senate bill would be tweaked considerably to conform more with the House bill passed two months previously. But now that strategy wouldn’t work, because the Democrats no longer had the 60th vote in the Senate to end debate. What to do? They decided to have the House take up the identical bill that the Senate passed on Christmas Eve. It passed on March 21, 2010, by a 219 – 212 vote. This time, no Republicans came on board, and 34 Democrats voted against. President Obama signed the ACA legislation two days later on March 23.

The rancor has not abated since, as we all know. Republicans invoked Thomas Jefferson’s observation that “great innovations should not be forced on a slender majority – or enacted without broad support.” They cited broad legislative innovations like Social Security and Medicare, both of which enjoyed bipartisan support. They complained that one fewer vote in the Senate or a change of four votes in the House would have been enough to defeat ObamaCare. Democrats responded just as vociferously and passionately that this healthcare reform package was too important and overdue to delay or compromise….”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/physiciansfoundation/2014/03/26/a-look-back-at-how-the-president-was-able-to-sign-obamacare-into-law-four-years-ago/

yada…yada…yada…

workingclass artist on July 7, 2014 at 12:07 PM

My money’s on:
a) they wait until after the mid-terms to announce the rate increases,
or b) they announce a small increase prior to the mid-terms and then do the rest of it after.

OccamsRazor on July 7, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Three million people.

According to Obama 6 moon people that list insurance that’s a very small percentage. A nothing burger.

jukin3 on July 7, 2014 at 12:15 PM

WH trying to pre-empt sticker shock on September premium increases

Obviously, the time has come for price controls on insurance policies.

/liberallogic

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 7, 2014 at 12:32 PM

“Nobody out there knows anything about the medical-loss ratio,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who’s become the Senate point man for Obamacare rapid response.. “if the premium increase is too high, you get your money back. That’s a pretty easy thing to explain.”

Huh? So the government is going to cover the entire premium hike? If that’s the case, we’ll just be paying higher taxes(or go into even more debt) in order to subsidize everyone. That’s like taking money out of one pocket and placing it in the other.

Doughboy on July 7, 2014 at 9:06 AM

No problem at all. Just triple the budget!

/liberallogic

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 7, 2014 at 12:42 PM

This time, no Republicans came on board, and 34 Democrats voted against. President Obama signed the ACA legislation two days later on March 23.

workingclass artist on July 7, 2014 at 12:07 PM

A useful reminder:

The only thing bipartisan about Obamacare was the opposition to it.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

My money’s on:
a) they wait until after the mid-terms to announce the rate increases,
or b) they announce a small increase prior to the mid-terms and then do the rest of it after.

OccamsRazor on July 7, 2014 at 12:14 PM

How do either of those work? People lock in their rates when they purchase their plans. And many employers will be renewing (cancelling) their policies before the election, and the exchanges open for business for individual policy holders on October 1.

NotCoach on July 7, 2014 at 12:47 PM

There are millions of people out there who are experiencing the real impact of the PPACA on their wallets and on their relationships with their health care providers. Even the dimmest bulbs among them are discovering that there’s more to the cost of their plan than the monthly premium. Only time will tell whether or not this will affect their votes in the mid-terms.

My own plan has had a very moderate increase in premium, deductible, and co-pay so far, but the employer mandate has not kicked in yet. After more than 30 years with the same insurer, I’ve started seeing highly questionable claims adjustment practices. I don’t know whether they are attributable to poor training or outright fraudulent practices.

My primary care provider and I have had to submit claims as many as four times because the original claim was “lost.” Claims have been denied even though they should have been approved. When re-submitted they were approved. Just last week I received a partial payment along with an explanation that three routine doctor visits were not covered. When I called to complain I was told that the claim would be sent back to the adjuster for review. In today’s mail the same claim, but with a different claim number, was sent to me denying all of the charges. There has not been enough time for the promised review, so this looks like simple incompetence.

I can only assume that the company is doing this to all of their policy holders and that they are counting on most people to just grin and bear it. That’s not going to happen in my case.

Kritikal on July 7, 2014 at 1:15 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on July 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Hilarious

Schadenfreude on July 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

I am already at the point of not even signing up for a plan for next year, and that is before the coming premium increases.
With the copays and deductible I pay now, I would be ahead to just not pay a plan premium at all, but use that money to pay medical expenses. My current silver multi-state plan does not pay enough toward medical expenses to justify the premium, even with subsidies. Also, I am one of the millions of subscribers with “enresolved conflicts” and may end up losing any subsidy I currently qualify for.
I never had to worry about “unresolved conflicts” before this Ocare farce. I did not have to satisfy the “dot the i and cross the t” requirements of unaccountable, rule making bureaucrats.
I knew what my costs and needs were, and I could make choices to control my costs.

bobthm3 on July 7, 2014 at 3:14 PM

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave
when first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

timberline on July 7, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Barack Obama had promised that his reforms would lower premiums by $2500 a year for a family of four

I am sure that somewhere out there in this nation of families of four, there is at least one family of four who saw their premiums lowered by $2500 a year. Yes their deductible went from $1000 to $15,000, but their premiums went down $2500!

The President didn’t say ‘every family of four’, or even ‘the average family of four’, he said ‘a family of four’, and he didn’t say anything about deductibles, so if there is one family if four out there that got premiums reduced $2500, nobody should complain, right? Promise kept!

s1im on July 8, 2014 at 8:57 AM