From Kaiser Health News
The Hill: White House Urges States To Resist ObamaCare Hikes
The White House is urging states to be more aggressive against health insurance companies as it looks to prevent expected and widespread premium hikes of 10 percent or more this year. The federal health department announced Wednesday that it will dole out about $22 million to boost state-level “rate reviews,” considered one of the strongest weapons against premium increases. Under the system, health insurers are required to justify rate increases to state insurance departments, some of which have the power to reject “unreasonable” increases. With the new funding, federal health officials hope states can hire outside insurance experts to dig deeper into the proposed rates and prove the hikes are unjustified. (Ferris 6/15)
So once again greedy insurance companies are the problem, not the structure of Obamacare, the use of health care services or the adverse selection built into the system.
How ironic; Obamacare sought to increase competition among insurers as a solution to high costs, but the Feds don’t trust competition for customers to assure sellers set premiums as competitive as possible. What good is fostering competition then?
The answer is that more competing insurers in a given area is actually counterproductive because it lowers the insurers leverage to negotiate fees and requires tighter networks.