Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that health insurance companies plan to increase health insurance premiums by up to 20 percent next year in part to comply with new federal mandates resulting from the Democrats’ health overhaul. Two of the largest insurance companies, BlueCross BlueShield and Aetna, plan to increase their monthly rates by up to 9 percent because of ObamaCare. The report focuses on premium increases for individuals buying health insurance on their own or getting coverage through a small business, two groups that are particularly vulnerable to rate hikes. Individuals purchasing health insurance on their own are responsible for paying 100 percent of the premium increase with no assistance from an employer. For small businesses already struggling in today’s economy, every additional dollar they must spend on premiums is money that cannot be spent on wages, hiring new employees, or investing in capital.
While the Wall Street Journal reports that, “The rate increases are a dose of troubling news for Democrats,” they should come as no surprise – the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted premiums would eventually increase by up to 13 percent, over and above increases in medical costs, under the law and the Obama Administrations’ own Medicare Actuaries predicted national health spending will increase under ObamaCare.
In addition, the Democrats’ health law will:
- Put seniors’ access to health care in jeopardy;
- Force up to 7 in 10 Americans to lose the health plan they currently have and like;
- Discourage employers from hiring new workers or giving raises to existing workers; and
- Put retirees at risk of losing their prescription drug coverage.
It is time to repeal the Democrats’ health law and replace it with commonsense solutions that make health care more affordable and put patients and doctors in charge of health care, not federal bureaucrats.House Republicans offered a better way, siding with the American people who believe that the key to reforming health care is to make it more affordable. According to the nonpartisan CBO, the House Republican plan would reduce health insurance premiums by up to 10 percent without increasing taxes or cutting Medicare.