nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

ObamaCare Regulations Drive Up Premiums, Dems Try To Mitigate By Threatening Insurers

[Things will be touch-and-go for the next three days.  I'm away at my daughter's wedding]

The Obama administration has been issuing new regulations for ObamaCare as fast as they can. 

The President's supporters are between a rock and a hard place in their efforts to turn around negative opinion about the new health care legislation.  The strategy is to offer as many new features as possible, increasing costs, and leading to higher premiums in the short run.  But the main provisions for coverage under the new law don't begin until 2014.
The administration recognizes that rising premiums may force many people to drop insurance plans before the new coverage picks up.

According to an AP story (June 21),
"The law's consumer safeguards, called the patients' bill of rights, are limited steps that take effect this year. The main provisions, including federal funding to help 32 million uninsured people get coverage, won't come until 2014. The administration worries that escalating premiums will force more people drop their policies before the law is fully implemented.  Consumers who buy their policies directly face increases averaging 20 percent this year, according to a survey released Monday by the private Kaiser Family Foundation."
Hence the President has met with health insurance executives in an attempt to threaten them about "jacking up" premiums.  If the politicos can intimidate insurance plans into more modest increases as health care costs rise, then there will be less outcry as the insured are forced out by higher premiums.

Health care costs are expected to rise by 9% next year.  Insurers will want to avoid losses by meeting that cost increase with increased premiums.  However, recall that the "grandfather" provisions of the new law do not allow an insurer to increase by more than 5% in order to continue to offer a policy (including the one you have and like).

Once again we're back to the false promise that you can keep your insurance plan.  No you can't; Congress and the President engaged in an intentional effort to straight-jacket plans into unsustainable status-quo's that the companies can't meet and still stay in business.

No matter what Speaker Pelosi says about legislative "moral issues,"  all of this is really about damage control prior to a mid-term election that bodes ill for the party that passed an unpopular and unwanted bill.
Doc D

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