Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Medical premiums will continue to rise as Obamacare is implemented

The Wall Street Journal explains what will happen to medical insurance premiums as more of Obamacare is implemented in 2014.

Excerpt:

Central to ObamaCare are requirements that health insurers (1) accept everyone who applies (guaranteed issue), (2) cannot charge more based on serious medical conditions (modified community rating), and (3) include numerous coverage mandates that force insurance to pay for many often uncovered medical conditions.

[...]We compared the average premiums in states that already have ObamaCare-like provisions in their laws and found that consumers in New Jersey, New York and Vermont already pay well over twice what citizens in many other states pay. Consumers in Maine and Massachusetts aren’t far behind. Those states will likely see a small increase.

By contrast, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming and Virginia will likely see the largest increases—somewhere between 65% and 100%. Another 18 states, including Texas and Michigan, could see their rates rise between 35% and 65%.

While ObamaCare won’t take full effect until 2014, health-insurance premiums in the individual market are already rising, and not just because of routine increases in medical costs. Insurers are adjusting premiums now in anticipation of the guaranteed-issue and community-rating mandates starting next year. There are newly imposed mandates, such as the coverage for children up to age 26, and what qualifies as coverage is much more comprehensive and expensive. Consolidation in the hospital system has been accelerated by ObamaCare and its push for Accountable Care Organizations. This means insurers must negotiate in a less competitive hospital market.

Although President Obama repeatedly claimed that health-insurance premiums for a family would be $2,500 lower by the end of his first term, they are actually about $3,000 higher—a spread of about $5,500 per family.

The big concern I have about all of these socialist schemes is that the public will not connect rising prices to Obama’s policies. We have been printing money (inflation), running huge deficits, imposing taxes and regulations on businesses, and so on. All of this will causes the prices that consumers pay for goods and services to go higher.

When the prices of goods and services go higher, the people who voted for Obama won’t make the connection between his policies and the rising prices. We have reached a point where a majority of the American public is as ignorant of basic economics as the peasant populations that elect communist governments. We are ready for government-controlled economy and central planning, because we can’t make the connection between cause and effect.

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