Tag: insurance costs

Obamacare providers got screwed, and are too big to fail..

So at the time when the collectivists held all 3 branches of our government , and were telling us they had to pass Obamacare for us to see what it was about, many of us, when asked, pointed out that the vilified insurance industry went along with this nonsense because they bought the campaign of lies that these crooks were selling. Somehow those that had to know better accepted the contention that Obamacare would actually result in cost reductions, and thus by extension, bigger profits for them. Who cares if it was blatantly obvious that what this democrat shit sandwich would really do was incentivize primarily the people most likely to drive costs through the roof, while those that didn’t need it, despite the penalties, would stay away? well the morons in the health insurance industry should have cared, but they, like so many others, were basically fooled by a false narrative.

As anyone that understood human nature could point out, in a country where medical professionals can’t turn away anyone that needs urgent care, why would someone very unlikely to need anything but urgent care, buy damned health insurance? And why would they expect that someone that was previously unable to get insurance due to something that was going to cost a fortune not sign up for free shit? Fast forward 6 years. Obamacare now has clearly shown us that nothing that was promised would actually come to pass, and that we all would pay more for crappier service. The health insurance industry has been forced to jack rates continuously to cover their massive shortfalls, and now, we have these companies looking for a tax payer subsidy to cover the ass rape they have experienced thanks to a bad law:

Insurers helped cheerlead the creation of Obamacare, with plenty of encouragement – and pressure – from Democrats and the Obama administration. As long as the Affordable Care Act included an individual mandate that forced Americans to buy its product, insurers offered political cover for the government takeover of the individual-plan marketplaces. With the prospect of tens of millions of new customers forced into the market for comprehensive health-insurance plans, whether they needed that coverage or not, underwriters saw potential for a massive windfall of profits.

Six years later, those dreams have failed to materialize. Now some insurers want taxpayers to provide them the profits to which they feel entitled — not through superior products and services, but through lawsuits.

Earlier this month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina joined a growing list of insurers suing the Department of Health and Human Services for more subsidies from the risk-corridor program. Congress set up the program to indemnify insurers who took losses in the first three years of Obamacare with funds generated from taxes on “excess profits” from some insurers. The point of the program was to allow insurers to use the first few years to grasp the utilization cycle and to scale premiums accordingly.

As with most of the ACA’s plans, this soon went awry. Utilization rates went off the charts, in large part because younger and healthier consumers balked at buying comprehensive coverage with deductibles so high as to guarantee that they would see no benefit from them. The predicted large windfall from “excess profit” taxes never materialized, but the losses requiring indemnification went far beyond expectations.

In response, HHS started shifting funds appropriated by Congress to the risk-corridor program, which would have resulted in an almost-unlimited bailout of the insurers. Senator Marco Rubio led a fight in Congress to bar use of any appropriated funds for risk-corridor subsidies, which the White House was forced to accept as part of a budget deal. As a result, HHS can only divvy up the revenues from taxes received through the ACA, and that leaves insurers holding the bag.

They now are suing HHS to recoup the promised subsidies, but HHS has its hands tied, and courts are highly unlikely to have authority to force Congress to appropriate more funds. In fact, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formally responded by telling insurers that they have no requirement to offer payment until the fall of 2017, at the end of the risk-corridor program.

I say fuck them both. HHS is a criminal entity as far as I am concerned, far worse than anything else out there in the real world. But these insurance companies should feel the pain. After all, they were stupid enough to buy into another massive campaign of lies from the marxists and their promises to insulate these companies if the not only went along but cheerlead for the marxists, from the consequences of bad economic policy that then also ignored human nature (what else that caused us all some huge pain recently does this sound exactly like, huh?). Wishful thinking is not enough, as this clearly points out:

That response highlights the existential issue for both insurers and Obamacare. The volatility and risk was supposed to have receded by now. After three full years of utilization and risk-pool management, ACA advocates insisted that the markets would stabilize, and premiums would come under control. Instead, premiums look set for another round of big hikes for the fourth year of the program.

Get used to this people. There are no free lunches. Someone pays, and while the collectivists, but especially one of the politicians, would like you to be dumb enough to believe their promise it will be someone else, the fact is that you will always pay in one form or another, unless you are one of them, that is. Greedy assholes in the insurance industries bought the bullshit the left sold when they should have known better, and now they are up the creek without a paddle and looking for someone else to pay. Hence the following news:

Consumers seeking to comply with the individual mandate will see premiums increase on some plans from large insurers by as much as 30 percent in Oregon, 32 percent in New Mexico, 38 percent in Pennsylvania, and 65 percent in Georgia.

Yup, we will all pay. Perverse incentives will produce perverse results, but hey, collectivists will tell you the right people pushing the right way will finally make that happen.

Told you so…

As many of us predicted then, and have been saying all along, Obamacare was without a doubt going to drive up the cost of healthcare for those of us with it already – employer provided or otherwise – and do so drastically, and the article by Allen Rappeport in FT titled “Health insurance costs deal blow to Obama” shows we where spot on:

The cost of health insurance has surged in the US this year, according to a survey of employers, dealing a blow to claims by the Obama administration that healthcare legislation introduced last year would curb costs.

Insurance premiums for family health benefits in 2011 jumped 9 per cent from a year ago to $15,073, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That represented a sharp acceleration from 2010, when premiums rose by a modest 3 per cent, and easily outpaced a 2 per cent rise in wages.

“This year’s 9 per cent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery,” said Drew Altman, Kaiser’s chief executive.

I am envious of the people that only saw a 9% increase mine was higher. And it comes on top of a similar hike from last year. I expect it to be the same next year again. When Obamacare goes live, I expect my employer to simply drop coverage and tell me to go get it on my own. The penalty they pay will be far, far less, than the cost to keep me covered, and I am one of those people that really don’t use healthcare that much – that means they collect more for me than they pay out – to begin with.

Let’s look at another revelation:

Health insurance premiums have more than doubled during the past decade and, although the survey reveals some of the early impact of the law, it does not provide reasons for the increase.

Kaiser said that it was beginning to see changes in preventative care benefits and many companies were enrolling young adults into corporate health plans plans because of the law. However, it said that most workers that were already enrolled in company plans are exempt from the law’s provisions.

Matthew Borsch, healthcare analyst at Goldman Sachs, said the increase could be due to the high rate of increase in family coverage, due to a new provision allowing people up to the age of 26 to join their parents’ plan, creating additional costs. He also noted that some measures in the law that were intended to contain costs were watered down.

Sorry, I don’t buy the “We don’t know why” argument. I think most insurance companies know exactly why, but it is politically disastrous to say anything. They might get a “friendly” call from the WH – like Ford did for that ad about how their cars are government bailout free – or yet again have to suffer the indignities they where put through when the left was demonizing them to the public, at the same time it was conspiring with them behind closed doors, so they could gin up public resentment and anger for insurance provided by those evil private sector companies. Those of us that know better saw through the smoke & mirrors and understood that we would not only pay more, but get the same service other government agencies do now: we would be serviced by a government bureaucracy that controlled healthcare decisions like a bull “services” a cow, and pay far, far more, for far, far, less.

Yes, the fact that they now allow people up to and including the age of 26 to stay on their parent’s policy costs a lot more. I worked on software that calculated rates for that a long time ago – in CT you have had the option of buying this new mandate already – a long time ago, and I remember that the premium hike for this option was considerable. Imagine doing it for everyone everywhere.

There is no doubt that our population is aging rapidly. The procedures and medical care processes with highest medical costs are associated with the problems and issues encountered at an older age. Couple that with a mandate to insure everyone, everywhere, including the illegals, despite the bull about that not being the case, and then with no increase in either the available pool of medical professionals or care facilities, and you see that there is simply a problem that’s not going to go away simply because some idiots that love European style government controlled and rationed healthcare want it to do so.

The collectivists, of course, doubled down.

The Obama administration offered a rebuttal of the study, arguing that premiums were set last year when insurers anticipated higher medical costs and that premium prices would decline as more provisions in the law were rolled out. Nancy-Ann DeParle, who is President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff, said that other measures showed healthcare costs declining and called out insurers for raking in profits.

Shit, more of the “you have to pass it to see what’s in it” nonsense writ large. Here is another prediction. There will be no costs going down. What we have in the bill is government trying real hard to force medical professionals to live by a payment schedule devised by some bureaucrat in some big city that give the illusion of lower cost coupled with massive rationing practices that restrict access and require long waiting periods. Of course, they will bristle and get all bent out of shape when you point out that’s exactly what will happen – we can look right across the pond or up north for exactly these examples – when these new provisions they claim will cut cost come into play.

It also should be pointed out that by the time these provisions go into effect, there will be very little we can do to roll them back. It’s no wonder that many of us feel like we are getting raped, and our rapist is telling us that it will all get better as he is ripping the clothes off of us and smacking us around, hard.

“The Kaiser report is informative but it’s a look backwards,” Ms DeParle said. “When we look to the future, we know that the Affordable Care Act will help make insurance more affordable for families and businesses across the country.”

That translates to don’t pay attention to those private sector entities that live in the real world and have to face the economic consequences of the decisions we make in DC, and only focus on the promises we are making that things will get better, reality be damned. And anyone that says otherwise is doing so because they are a racist! Inthe mean time, expect more of the same next year and the year after. Hoepfully we will roll this thing back at some point and avoid what’s coming at some point, but if we don’t get used to paying more, for a lot less, and then after a long ass wait. And pray you don’t die before you finally get care.