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Belmont Club

The New Normal

January 23rd, 2013 - 3:29 pm

Insurance premiums to triple. This news report from Forbes.

A California insurance broker, who sells health plans to individuals and small businesses, told me that she’s prepping her clients for a sticker shock. Her local carriers are hinting to her that premiums may triple this fall, when the plans unveil how they’ll billet the full brunt of Obamacare’s new regulations and mandates.

California is hardly alone. Around the country, insurers are fixing to raise rates by double digits. They’re privately briefing politicians in Washington on what’s in store. Those briefings are leaving a lot of folks up and down Pennsylvania Avenue jumpy….

To try and get a handle on rising costs, the Obama Administration will start to go after the healthcare providers. The President seemed to hint about all this when he referenced the need to “lower the cost” of healthcare in his inaugural address.

What difference does it make?

Recalling previous failed attempts to push through health care legislation, including the Catastrophic medical expenses act, AOL’s Andrea Stone wrote of the lessons learned.

It would take until 2003, in the George W. Bush administration, for Congress to bring back a prescription drug benefit for seniors. Catastrophic coverage has never been revived.

When President Bill Clinton assigned his wife the task of reforming the entire health care system in 1993, many recalled the spectacle in Chicago. “That was the first signal a lot of us had that this was really a third rail,” Jaffe said. “It’s an extremely dangerous issue, and if you didn’t handle it extremely carefully, you get burned by it.” As the Clintons soon learned.

Looking back, Jaffe favorably compared the bill Rostenkowski championed to President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, which conservatives have vowed to repeal if they regain control of Congress this fall.

“It was one of the few bills done in a fiscally responsible way. Unlike the new bill, taxes were collected before the benefits kicked in,” Jaffe said.

When Democrats wrote the current legislation, he said, “there were lessons learned. This time, they were very careful to give people the dessert before they served them the spinach.” For example, benefits allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plan have kicked in, while more controversial parts won’t take effect for years.

Except for the premiums tripling. But by now it may be too late. What difference does it make?


The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
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No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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