A new study finds that, contrary to President Obama’s promises, the cost of your health insurance premiums are likely to skyrocket (more than they have already) once ObamaCare kicks in, in some cases by double digits. The non-partisan Society of Actuaries studied the impact of ObamaCare on the cost for health insurers and found that average claim costs will increase 32%. Claim costs, obviously, are the primary factor in how much insurance companies charge individuals and companies for premiums.
In some individual states the news is dire, according to the study. In four years, California’s claim costs could jump 62%. In Ohio the estimate is a whopping 80%. Florida and Maryland will see respective increases of 20% and 67%. Two states will see decreases. But the national average works out to an incredible 32%.
The cause of the increase is primarily based on the fact that ObamaCare forces insurers to take on those who are already sick. Thirty-two million Americans are expected to sign up for ObamaCare, and this study finds that the cost of giving the sick the Cadillac health insurance plans mandated by the new health care law will far outstrip the benefit of however many young and healthy Americans sign up.
The argument from the other side will probably claim that Americans are already paying this same cost for the sick and uninsured through taxation and increased hospital bills when the sick and uninsured go to the emergency room or are hospitalized but unable to pay.
That argument misses a primary point that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made at a White House briefing Tuesday. Sebelius said some of what passes for health insurance today is so skimpy it can’t be compared to the comprehensive coverage available under the law. “Some of these folks have very high catastrophic plans that don’t pay for anything unless you get hit by a bus,” she said. “They’re really mortgage protection, not health insurance.”
By giving everyone in the country Cadillac health insurance plans that pay for everything, including medically unnecessary birth control, Obama is forcing all of us to pay for someone else’s birth control, which simply wasn’t the case before. No one ran into emergency rooms demanding glow-in-the-dark condoms. And if they did, they were turned down and you and I weren’t forced to pay for them.
Because ObamaCare not only demands that insurance companies pay for all kinds of things they didn’t before, and further demands that higher risk individuals (unless they smoke) not pay higher premiums, you and I have gone from paying for a few medical services (emergency, hospital) for the uninsured to every medical service, once they sign up for ObamaCare. This includes certain types of counseling, etc.
What we have here is a welfare plan disguised as health insurance.
Furthermore, as someone who is presently uninsured, I can tell you for a fact that there are two price schemes in health care today: one for insurance companies and another for the uninsured. Whether it is a doctor’s visit or prescriptions, the cost is much cheaper for me than it was for my insurance company. For example, my pharmacy charged my former insurance company $120 for a prescription. I’m paying $25 — which was the same as my co-pay when I had insurance.
ObamaCare’s Cadillac plans remove the market component for health care. If birth control costs $11 at Walmart today, the price is sure to increase once that same birth control is covered by insurance. Just for starters, Walmart will have the added expense of having to file a claim to get paid. And you and I now must pay for all of that. Why charge $50 for a counseling session when the government will pay $150?
On top of that, as my personal experience proves, health care providers are going to charge an insurance company as much as they are allowed for whatever the service is, as opposed to what the market will bear. Between bureaucratic stupidity and crony capitalistic lobbying, this almost always means price gouging.
In other words, ObamaCare not only forces you and I to pay for services and products for the uninsured for which we are not currently paying (birth control is just one of many examples), but because those products and services are covered under ObamaCare, the cost for them is about to skyrocket.
My one quibble with the study is this. With respect to the coming price increases, the AP looked at the study and concludes:
If you are uninsured, or you buy your policy directly from an insurance company, you should pay attention.
But if you have an employer plan, like most workers and their families, odds are you don’t have much to worry about.
That reveals a stunning ignorance of how the market works. If claim costs increase the cost of premiums, that increase will be passed on to employers who will pass them on to employees.
Everyone needs to worry.
This study is just one of many ObamaCare horror stories leaking out long after it is too late. Obama, the media, and the private companies eager to get rich off a bloated, corrupt bureaucracy have been hustling the American people since day one.
Obama lied, and the media knew he was lying and let him get away with it. Obama lied to us about premium prices decreasing and about being able to keep our insurance. Because of ObamaCare we already know that the working class are losing jobs and hours, rationed care is looking like a real possibility, and up to 20 million could lose their coverage.
And studies like this which could have been warnings are now nothing more than announcements.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC