"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Obamacare-Caused Premium Increases Hitting Families, Small Businesses Around The Country

October 14th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

When Democrats were attempting to sell their unpopular health care takeover to the American people, one of their promises was that health care premiums would go down, as would costs. Announcing the agreement among Democrats on the bill that would eventually become the basis for the law, President Obama said, “We [Senate Democrats and the administration] agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Finance Committee, and one of the key architects of the bill said, “For all Americans — all Americans — premiums will be lower.” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) aimed that the bill “will reduce costs of people” and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) pledged, “Health care reform will … result in real economic gains to families.”

Like so many other promises about the health care law, it turns out that this one is also being broken. Premiums are going up because of the law, not down. A month ago, The Wall Street Journal warned, “Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats’ efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections.” And this week, Americans are finding out about those increases all across the country.

In Seattle, KING5 News reports, “Ralph Nilssen’s five beautiful kids are about to get more expensive. Regence Blue Shield sent him a letter saying rates are going up – way up. Regence put the blame – at least in part – on the new and controversial health care law. ‘Obama care went into effect and my rates went through the roof,’ said Nilssen. In the letter, Regence told Nilssen his $532 monthly premium could nearly triple next year. ‘I just sat back and said you’ve got to be kidding me,’ he said.”

In Buffalo, NY, the Buffalo News reports, “Two of the region’s three dominant health insurers intend to raise premiums on average by double digits for next year, and the third wants a double-digit increase for plans not structured as health maintenance organizations. The premium for one insurance plan could rise almost 36 percent. The insurers cite rising costs of medical care and federal health care reforms.” Small businesses may be among those hardest hit. “Joe Milazzo, owner of Milazzo Renovations in Lancaster, already was paying $1,200 a month for individual coverage from Independent Health Association when he got a notice of an increase of roughly 15 percent. ‘It’s craziness,’ he said. ‘It’s getting to the point where health insurance payments are more than the mortgage payment.’

And in Connecticut, The New Haven Register explained in an editorial recently, “The cost of the expansion of health care coverage approved by Congress is hitting home in Connecticut, according to the state Insurance Department and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The Insurance Department has approved premium increases of more than 20 percent for some of Anthem’s individual coverage plans. . . . Anthem said the increases were necessary because of rising medical costs and the expanded benefits required by the new law pushed by President Barack Obama.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said, “For every promise that crumbles, another one of our warnings is vindicated. Day after day, Republicans said the health care bill would raise taxes, raise premiums, and cut Medicare for seniors. We said it would increase costs, because it didn’t take an actuary to figure that you don’t save money on health care by spending more on it. And yet even in the face of the clearest proof that we were right on every single count, the people who forced this bill through Congress against the will of the people continue to call us alarmists and to question our motives. But all these headlines are only confirming what the American people already believed, and what Republicans said, all along: that more government isn’t the solution to out-of-control health care spending any more than spending money we didn’t have on projects we didn’t need was the secret to robust job growth.”

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