Nancy-Ann DeParle, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Touts ObamaCare’s New Rate-Review System Coming Online:
Today, consumers got some good news when a big insurance company – Blue Shield of California – announced it will be returning $295 million to consumers and the community by the end of the year. This announcement will provide some much needed relief to families who have seen their premiums increase in recent years. And it’s the fourth positive announcement we’ve heard this week alone about health insurance premiums. Before the Affordable Care Act became law, many insurance companies could raise your premiums without any transparency or accountability. If you wanted to know why your rates were going up, they were under no obligation to tell you. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, that’s all changing. Starting September 1, 2011, in every State and for the first time ever, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. The Affordable Care Act also included $250 million to help States strengthen their rate review procedures so they can successfully fight high premium hikes and help keep costs under control.
In Reality, Price Controls Lead To Higher Costs And Fewer Choices.
After enacting an ObamaCare-style health reform law in 2006, the Bay State faced rising health spending and insurance premiums. Spending per individual was 15% higher than the national average last year, and premiums went up between 5% and 10% in the years following the passage of the reform plan. Last year, Massachusetts officials tried to crack down on health insurance rates, rejecting 253 of 274 proposed rate hikes across the state. Chaos ensued. The small-group health insurance market, which served 800,000 of the state’s residents, briefly shut down. Later in the year, all four of the state’s biggest health insurers reported that they’d lost money as the price caps were implemented. Three explicitly attributed their losses to the state’s rate rejections. Insurers can’t endure state-mandated losses forever. Eventually, they’ll have to shed jobs or exit the market entirely. Consumers would be left with fewer choices. (“Reviewing ObamaCare’s Rate Review” by Sally Pipes in Forbes)