The largest health insurer in Texas wants to hike premiums for Obamacare plans by nearly 60 percent, the latest evidence that consumers may see steep cost increases this year under President Obama’s healthcare law.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has requested hikes it says could affect nearly 603,000 Texans buying health plans through healthcare.gov, the insurance marketplace set up under Obamacare. The rates have yet to be finalized and Blue Cross could choose to ramp them down, but the Obama administration lacks the authority to force the insurer to do so.
Because, gosh, let me explain again, Mr. President. There is a such thing as economics, which does it’s own thing despite the inspired genius of liberal reformers like you.
When demand for a product or service increases, the price goes up. In this case, when you actually force people to buy a product, it exacerbates the increase in demand. And when you force businesses to sell a certain product, whether the customer needs it or not, you add further to the cost of provide it.
The result: Price increases. There is no more basic low of economics than supply and demand. Somehow, Obama’s economists haven’t heard much about it.
Unfortunately, it is average consumers who are bearing the cost of this enterprise known, in one of history’s great ironies and spin jobs, as the Affordable Care Act.
There were better ways to increase coverage that involved greater consumer choice and flexible options for purchase. And Obamacare hasn’t done nearly what was promised to broaden coverage, despite the traumatic change it required.
In a major victory for Republicans, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration didn’t fund Obamacare’s subsidies properly.
The judge said Thursday that the subsidy program will remain in place pending an appeal. The win means that potentially millions of people could lose tax credits intended to help them pay for the cost of healthcare . . .
Obamacare’s tax credits are given to Obamacare customers to pay down the cost of premiums, while the cost-sharing reductions are given to insurers to help with deductibles and co-pays.
Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that Congress never appropriated the funding for the cost-sharing payments.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest accused Republicans of political gamesmanship.
“It’s unfortunate that Republicans have resorted to a taxpayer-funded lawsuit to refight a political fight that they keep losing. They’ve been losing this fight for six years. And they’ll lose it again,” he said.
The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare. But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates . . .
“I think a lot of insurance carriers expected red ink, but they didn’t expect this much red ink,” said Greg Scott, who oversees Deloitte’s health plans practice. “… A number of carriers need double-digit increases.” . . .
Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which dominate many state exchanges, saw profits plummet by 75 percent between 2013 and 2015, according to an analysis by A.M. Best Co. A chief reason for the financial woes: “the intensity of losses in the exchange segment.” Health Care Service Corporation, which operates Blue plans in five states, dropped out of New Mexico’s exchange for this year after regulators refused to approve rate hikes as big as the company sought. In Texas, Illinois and two other states where HCSC does business, medical costs for individual customers exceeded premiums by more than $1.3 billion last year.
One big reason is lower-than-expected enrollment of younger, often healthier people who balance the costs of those who require more costly care. Roughly 12.7 million Americans signed up for Obamacare plans during the most recent open enrollment period. That’s far below the 22 million projected by the Congressional Budget Office, and it’s certain to decline as some drop out.
This is as predicted. Obamacare is not just a program for the uninsured, it’s a tool to put insurers out of business by forcing them into coverage decisions that don’t make economic sense. The insurers greedily grasped at the dazzling prospect of millions of new customers, without accurately accounting for the inability of these new clients to pay up.
And now, they’re stuck trying to make paying customers foot the bill.
Maybe they thought the government would understand this and help them by changing the rules. But the government doesn’t care about their bottom line, and it doesn’t understand saving the golden goose laying the eggs. What it will do is take over the system should the private sector fail and then run it at a loss, like the government does with any enterprise in which it is engaged.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will begin teaching creative writing at Accidental University in California beginning July 15th, according to a statement released Thursday by his office.
The statement actually said Roberts would start “July 14th,” but the chief justice’s office subsequently put out a clarification that the intent was to say “July 15th.”
The university is coincidentally the alma mater of President Barack Obama, who is an Accidental graduate.
Accidental University President Hank McHenry said in a statement that the university was “deeply honored” to have someone of Roberts’ “proven writing skills” teaching undergraduates.
“Justice Roberts has demonstrated an obvious flair for creative writing with respect to the Affordable Care Act,” McHenry said. “Twice now, he has rewritten important aspects of Obamacare, changing sections regarding penalties into sections regarding taxes and adding ‘or the federal government’ to the formerly prosaic phrase ‘established by the states.’ With just small strokes of his pen, Justice Roberts has been creating brand new laws with consequences that will reverberate for decades, if not centuries.”
In a brief interview in his office, where he was sipping chamomile and dropping copies of the Constitution into his shredder, Roberts said creative writing had been a lifelong goal.
“I’ve been doing this left-brain legal stuff all my life. Now, Obamacare has given me a chance to tap into my right-brain potential, allowing me the freedom to move away from rationally interpreting laws toward rewriting them in a way my old, reason-enslaved self could never have imagined.”
Attempts to obtain a response from James Madison were unsuccessful. Madison had rolled over in his grave and from his new position was unable to comment.
The correct one is below. Here’s some verbiage from it:
After the dust has settled, there can be no doubt that this law is working . . . After multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. This morning, the court upheld a critical part of this law, the part that’s made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance regardless of where you live.
If the partisan challenge to this law had succeeded, millions of Americans would have had thousands of dollars worth of tax credits taken from them . . . America would have gone backwards. That’s not what we do. That’s not what America does. We move forward.
Everything and everyone opposing Obama is partisan, in his mind – not advancing on any kind of principle, such as, for example, that laws actually mean what they say. Everything and everyone with a contrary idea to Obama wants to “move backwards,” no matter that moving forward in directions set by Obama either so often steps us off a cliff or moves so many Americans harmed by his policies in the wrong direction.
Obamacare will usher in the gradual destruction of health care for average Americans, raising their costs and their taxes, depleting the quality of care, and leading to health care rationing. There were other ways to provide greater access to health insurance without mandating coverage and having the government set the rules.
Americans of current and future generations will suffer and die because of this law. And that, folks, is what is called moving backwards.
By a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court Thursday announced a decision upholding the Obamacare law, ruling that those who get health insurance through federal exchanges are eligible for tax subsidies. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the Court, affirming the decision of the Fourth Circuit court of appeals in the case of King v. Burwell. Roberts wrote: In… Continue Reading
Because that’s the Chicago way. President Obama Monday continued to the White House tactic – begun last week by Josh Earnest, and echoing tactics used during the last Obamacare case – of trying to bully the Supreme Court into siding with his position on Obamacare in a case that will be decided within days. Obama spoke… Continue Reading
In an echo of the last time the Supreme Court held the fate of the Affordable Care Act in its hands, the White House today began warning the Court of the kind of rhetoric it would face if it eviscerates the crown jewel of President Obama’s presidency. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today suggested… Continue Reading
CBS News Monday helped celebrate the fifth anniversary of Obamacare by citing a statistic it said its “research department” had uncovered. Note, in the video below, the citation in small print for the news that 16 million Americans had been insured under the law. It says, “Source: The White House.” Here’s where the research came… Continue Reading
Justice Anthony Kennedy today posed questions that suggested a rationale for him to oppose a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that could destroy Obamacare. Kennedy, along with Chief Justice John Roberts, is one of two justices whose votes on the case will likely decide it. Both would have to side with Obamacare opponents for the… Continue Reading