Healthcare

Will we ever know the truth about health insurance premiums under Obamacare?

Someday we will know the truth, but not for a few years and certainly not before November elections.

Of course, in the meantime you can always accept the glowing “no problem” assessments of the Paul Krugman’s of the world. But while you are doing that make a list of all the things contained in the Affordable Care Act that will actually reduce health care spending and hence moderate premium increases. Hint; you will need a very small piece of paper and a very short pencil.

Los Angeles Times May 21, 2014

The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.

The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.

Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a “bailout” for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.

They continue to argue that most insurers shouldn’t need to substantially increase premiums because safeguards in the healthcare law will protect them over the next several years.

If conservatives want to stop the illegal Obamacare insurance bailout before it starts they must start planning now. – Conn Carroll, an editor of the right-leaning news site Townhall.com

But the change in regulations essentially provides insurers with another backup: If they keep rate increases modest over the next couple of years but lose money, the administration will tap federal funds as needed to cover shortfalls.

Although little noticed so far, the plan was already beginning to fuel a new round of attacks Tuesday from the healthcare law’s critics.

Forbes.com July 14, 2014

Want to know what’s happening with Obamacare? Good luck finding out. The White House recently adopted a new approach for updating Americans on the country’s most consequential law. I call it the “needle in a haystack” method: Bury the announcement in hundreds of pages of regulations and hope no one finds it.

The White House tried a test run several weeks ago. Hidden in the midst of a 436 page regulatory update, and written in pure bureaucratese, the Department of Health and Human Services asked that insurance companies limit the looming premium increases for 2015 health plans. But don’t worry, HHS hinted: we’ll bail you out on the taxpayer’s dime if you lose money.

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