“Looks like Obamacare is more “on track” than “train wreck,” gloated the experts on Barack Obama’s Think Progress website as they reported the Master’s healthcare scheme was literally forcing America’s insurers to lower their premiums.
The glad tidings arose back in May after Oregon providers Providence Health Plan and Family Care Health requested premium rate reductions from the state-run ObamaCare exchange. (Actually, the state just gets to pay for the exchange. It’s run by Kathleen Sebelius at HHS.)
Naturally this was big news for Affordable Care Act fans. After all, what could be better than private insurers wanting permission to lower premiums, providing proof positive for Mr. Obama’s claims of lower healthcare costs brought about by competition. (MANAGED competition, that is)
But the left might be premature in celebrating the actions of 2 minor insurers in Oregon. For news from the rest of the nation is not quite as cheery for the ObamaCare crowd.
In fact in a number of states the nation’s largest healthcare providers are refusing to bet untold millions on the success of Mr. Obama’s presidential legacy. Imagine being unwilling to risk a fortune in order to bolster the president’s public image. Greedy, selfish capitalist pigs.
In Maryland for example, Aetna refused Department of Insurance demands that the company reduce premiums by as much as 29%. Unable to “…collect enough in premiums to cover the cost of [their] plans,” the nation’s 4th largest insurer pulled out of the ObamaCare exchange and will not offer insurance in the state.
Last month, UnitedHealth, Aetna and Cigna announced they would not participate in Califonia’s individual, ObamaCare market. These three of the nation’s 11 largest insurers will offer policies only in the small and large business markets in the state.
In late July, Medical Mutual of Ohio, the 2nd largest health insurer in South Carolina, announced it will not provide insurance in the state thanks to the “vast and complex” regulations of ObamaCare. Twenty Eight thousand South Carolinians will lose their current coverage.
Perhaps no state defines the nightmare that is ObamaCare better than Georgia. On July 29th, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens filed an emergency request, asking HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a 30 day extension beyond the August 1st deadline to review the health plans and premiums submitted by seven insurance companies wanting to do business in the state. Hudgens said the rates were as much as 198% higher than those currently available, making ObamaCare unaffordable to Georgians.
Yet outside actuaries hired by the participating companies found that six of the new premiums were justifiable and the seventh, just “…11 percent above what was necessary to comply with the requirements of the… law.”
On July 30th, Sebelius informed REPORTERS she was reviewing Hudgens’ request. Reporters? One day later, Aetna and Coventry Health decided against offering ObamaCare based coverage in Georgia. Having received no reply from Sebelius, Insurance Commissioner Hudgens was forced by Georgia law to approve the rates of the remaining insurers on Wednesday, the 1st. The law only requires Hudgens deny premiums that are “excessive.” The new premiums had, after all, been approved by report of outside actuaries and Kathleen Sebelius had offered no grounds for Hudgens to find the premiums excessive.
In fact, Hudgens has STILL not heard from Kathleen Sebelius as Georgians face massive rate increases should they make application for healthcare insurance under ObamaCare. Does anyone think this sort of treatment might reflect the coming rule rather than the exception of the Affordable Care Act?
Next week, CiR presents the Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom plan for stopping ObamaCare in its tracks: “Refuse to Enroll!”
Photo Credit: Standard Compliant