While the most expensive and disruptive changes of the Democrats’ health care law do not take effect until 2014, this week provided a startling glimpse of what consumers can expect from the Democrats’ trillion dollar health care law. Below are examples of how the health care overhaul will increase costs and has left government bureaucrats with the power to limit consumers’ choice, despite the President’s repeated promise that “if you like the coverage you have you can keep it.”
North Dakota: North Dakota requested a waiver to protect its residents, including those with pre-existing conditions, from the onerous Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requirements enacted under the Democrats’ health care law, stating that without such a waiver, “carriers may choose to terminate existing blocks of coverage to avoid future solvency issues. If this occurs, consumers would be left without coverage and in [a] particularly disadvantage position in finding new coverage, especially if they have a health condition.” Despite this clear risk of North Dakotans losing their plan, the Obama Administration denied the state’s waiver request.
Oregon: Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon insures roughly 59,000 customers in the individual market (those not receiving health coverage through the workplace). This year, Regence said that complying with the new mandates in the Democrats’ health care law forced the plan to increase its prices. Asked about the cost of health insurance becoming more expensive because of the new law, Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services, “acknowledged this was correct.” While the state of Oregon scaled back the size of Regence’s premium increase, it’s clear that the Democrats’ health care law is making coverage more expensive.