Remember when Obamacare was going to reduce health care costs?
At the time Obamacare passed, most of you probably understood that (another) massive government intervention into health care wasn't going to reduce costs, but those folks who rely on the New York Times for news sure were in for a surprise this week.
Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.
Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.
In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013. These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.
And, via the Review-Journal, the news isn't any better for Las Vegas' University Medical Center.
The Affordable Care Act will cost University Medical Center tens of millions over the next six years, hospital officials warned on Monday.
While the law, known as Obamacare, is designed to expand health insurance to everyone, it comes with a few catches for urban public hospitals such as UMC; it drastically reduces other forms of federal funding and doesn't expand insurance coverage to illegal immigrants, hospital CEO Brian Brannman told Clark County commissioners.
The result will be an estimated net loss of more than $52 million through 2019, he said.
Depressed yet? Here's more good news. President Obama doesn't think the country has a spending problem. He thinks we have a health care problem that the country just "solved" with Obamacare. Good grief.
What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.' " …
Mr. Boehner looks battle weary from five weeks of grappling with the White House. He's frustrated that the final deal failed to make progress toward his primary goal of "making a down payment on solving the debt crisis and setting a path to get real entitlement reform." At one point he grimly says: "I need this job like I need a hole in the head."
The president's insistence that Washington doesn't have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called "a health-care problem." Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—"They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system"—he replied: "Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem." He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that."
More: Here's Thomas Mitchell's take on this mess.
(h/t Hot Air)