Democrats are cheering an August 1, 2014 initial analysis of 2015 health insurance premium increases performed by Price Waterhouse Cooper. Many on the political Left are pointing to this as proof that “Obamacare is working”. That depends on how you define “working”. If robbing taxpayers of $10 billion dollars in 2014 and then handing it to the health insurance industry is “working” then Democrats are right.
As I have stated before, Obamacare is the greatest transfer of wealth from the U.S. Treasury to the health insurance industry in U.S. history. Those massive transfers of wealth are just getting started via the Obamacare “Three Rs” provision. The truth is that without the Obamacare Three Rs consisting of Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance and “Risk Corridors”, premiums would be dramatically higher in 2015 as most of us policy wonks predicted. What does just one leg of the “Three Rs” accomplish? Cori Uccello – Senior Health Fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries spelled out for us what the “Reinsurance” part does during a recent testimony in congress:
“In 2014, $10 billion will be collected from health plans (CBS says this will cost policyholders $25 billion) which will then be used to pay plans in the individual market when an individual’s claims exceed $45,000. Plans will be reimbursed (by taxpayers) for 80% of an individual’s health claims between $45,000 and $250,000.” – Cori Uccello.
Already we are seeing health insurers lining up for their taxpayer funded bailouts under the “Reinsurance” program:
Aetna wants $50,000,000
Assurant Health wants $140,000,000
Humana is asking for than half a billion
In fact 12 out of the 15 health insurers that provided information to the House Oversight Committee expect to get big bail out checks from the taxpayer to cover their losses this year. So you see these premium increases aren’t even close to the actual cost of health insurance under Obamacare. The truth is whilst the health insurance industry is releasing lower premium increases for 2015 with one hand they are picking your wallet with the other hand.
The worst part is that just before Kathleen Sebellius left her post at HHS she aided and ebbeted these actions by illegally and unilaterally expanding the Obamacare risk corridor program without congress so that the health insurance industry can get even more of your money without any approval from congress. There are reasons our founders required separations of power. This is just one example of why they did.