Premiums Up, Choices Down: The First Wave of Obamacare

| Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

Kaiser Family Foundation just released further bad news about the poorly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). American families facing a bad economy, high unemployment, and crashing home values now get hit with another cost increase: higher health insurance premiums that are rising more every year.

Obama’s campaign focused on “hope and change,” but I suspect these winds of “change” are ones that most Americans did not “hope” for, did not want, and would like to escape.

Look at the bleak facts:

In 2011, the annual health insurance premium for a family of four was pushed above $15,000 for the first time ever.

The 2011 annual health insurance premium was 31% higher than 2006, and 113% higher than in 2001.

Health insurance premiums were 9% higher in 2011 than in 2010. And the media says there is no inflation? Did your income go up 9% from 2010 to 2011? Not for the vast majority of Americans!

Hurricane Irene wreaked visible damage all along the Eastern seaboard this fall. The damage from Obamacare’s extensive new mandates and regulations is less visible, but no less damaging to individuals, families, businesses, and our overall economy. At least we had warning that Hurricane Irene was coming and could take steps to prepare and protect ourselves. But we were falsely promised that the hurricane named Obamacare would lower costs, improve access to health insurance, and “protect patients.” Even in this earliest stage, with only a fraction of the mandates implemented, we are seeing massive damage.

Obamacare advocates like to blame the “greedy” insurance companies. But most of the blame for higher premiums is directly caused by the Obamacare first wave of mandates and regulations.

As of the fall of 2010, all insurance policies must:

keep adult “children” up to age 26 on parents’ policies,
provide “free” preventive care and screenings for everyone
cover pre-existing medical conditions for children

Adding this coverage unavoidably means the policy will have to cost more.

Obamacare regulations already control practically every decision a private insurance company can make. It is only going to get worse as government “medicrats” micromanage every single aspect of insurance coverage.