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Insurance Industry Warns Of Higher Rates, As ObamaCare Supporters See Long-Term Fix

President Obama says the health care law makes coverage more affordable, but the insurance industry reacted to the Supreme Court decision by saying that the ruling will actually end up raising rates even more than they have climbed since the law was enacted.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobby group, issued a statement supporting expanding health care coverage to millions of Americans, but it said, “major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have unintended consequences of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless they are addressed.”

The group’s CEO, Karen Ignagni, told Fox News that because of the increased costs, “It’s time for people to roll up their sleeves and look very carefully at those provisions.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group, has said that the average family insurance premium in 2011 topped $15,000 — a 9 percent increase from the year before, while premiums had climbed just 3 percent a year before the law went into effect.

AETNA, the nation’s fourth largest insurer, says its polices increased from 1 to 2 percent.

“Three percent is a material increase,” said Ignagni, who cited the legislation’s premium tax. “That is one example of provision embedded in the legislation that will work in the wrong direction than consumer expectations.”

But others claimed the law eventually will lower insurance premiums because of the large pool of Americans who will be covered. The group FamilesUSA called the decision, “a clear, unambiguous and complete victory for long-overdue health care reform.”

The group also cited the creation of state health insurance exchanges, which will give consumers choices of insurance plans.  It also said the new insurance company regulations help consumers.

“No one will be denied health coverage or charged a discriminatory premium due to a pre-existing condition, such as children with asthma or diabetes … People with major health problems, like those in car accidents, will be protected against arbitrary lifetime or annual limits in how much insurance companies will pay for needed care,” the group said.

“The premiums paid for family health care rise by more than a thousand dollars simply to pay for the costs that have not been paid by the uninsured,” Ron Pollack, the executive director of FamliesUSA, told Fox News. “So as those people get coverage, our premiums will go down.”

Pollack added, “Anybody who tells us that health reform is unaffordable is smoking something, because of the heart of health reform is to make our system a whole lot more efficient and effective. And when you make it more efficient and effective, it helps to bring premiums down.”

AHIP counters claims that premiums will decrease. It cited an Urban Institute study that shows insurance premiums for singles policyholders, who are 18 to 34 years old, will increase by $1,400, from $3,600 to $5,000 a year.

Policyholders who are 35 to 44 years old will see a lesser increase, by $800 — from $4,200 to the same $5,000 rate per year.


5 Responses

  1. My rates have gone up about 50% in anticipation of this horrible law. If you think businesses aren’t hiring now, forget about it because NO ONE will hire now.

    The law, whatever is left of it, MUST be repealed and we must have more true conservative judges in the courts, especially the supreme court.

    Obama & liberalism MUST be defeated in November!!!!!

  2. Had the law been upheld under the Commerce Clause, the response to rapidly rising costs would have been regulation that would have probably resulted in forcing private companies out of the health insurance business. But the Supreme Court decided that the Commerce Clause didn’t apply.

    A more likely solution will be that the next Congress if it doesn’t scrap the system will be to allow for inexpensive policies (i.e. high deductible policies) and health savings accounts — all of which the current version tries to prohibit.

  3. Victor Hugo, writing Les Miserables, had a line, “…even the rich have the right to sleep on a park bench.” Should be the Conservative’s mantra on this issue.

    Many of you are on the wrong side of your own issues, if the issue is the cost of insurance. Your Tea Party mentors make a big deal about the right to make up one’s own mind about buying health care – but that is hardly the point to the millions of people who are unemployed, who work in jobs that do not provide medical benefits, or who cannot afford health insurance on their own.

    The entire western world, including Israel…and except for the United States…have figured out ways, some better than others, to protect their citizens by enabling universal health care…and all you dullards can do is oppose any and all attempts to provide such health care here by screaming “socialism” – I think you really believe it too (though I suspect that such ideological silliness wouldn’t stop you from participating in Medicare!) Isn’t it a bit boring by now? Is it so horrible to work to provide medical coverage to all citizens?

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