From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
Health insurers are privately warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year because of the health-care overhaul law, with the nation’s biggest firm projecting that rates could more than double for some consumers buying their own plans.
The projections, made in sessions with brokers and agents, provide some of the most concrete evidence yet of how much insurance companies might increase prices when major provisions of the law kick in next year—a subject of rigorous debate.
The projected increases are at odds with what the Obama Administration says consumers should be expecting overall in terms of cost. The Department of Health and Human Services says that the law will “make health-care coverage more affordable and accessible,” pointing to a 2009 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office that says average individual premiums, on an apples-to-apples basis, would be lower.
The gulf between the pricing talk from some insurers and the government projections suggests how complicated the law’s effects will be. Carriers will be filing proposed prices with regulators over the next few months.
More at the link.
The rather obvious question is: between the federal government, with a biased agenda to tell us that health insurance ought to be less expensive under their plans, or the insurance providers themselves, whom do you believe?
Yes, I know: that was a rhetorical question.
I doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what will happen: you cannot mandate adding thirty to forty million people who couldn’t afford insurance previously to the insurance rolls, you cannot impose regulations prohibiting the standard insurance cost-cutting measures such as lifetime limits on coverage and denial of insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, and not add to the costs of providing insurance. You cannot require insurance companies to continue to cover family members for longer periods of time — the 18 to 26 year olds — without adding costs to the insurance companies. Insurance will cost more because it has to cost more.
Of course, we have previously pointed out that we cannot add 30 to 40 million people who cannot afford health insurance, maintain high quality for those covered, and still cut costs. It took no particular brilliance to figure that out; I am not a PhD or Nobel laureate in economics, and I am not a high-powered government official or Democratic party professional, but I do understand addition and subtraction. Simple arithmetic tells you that you cannot add to the costs insurance companies will have to pay out and still reduce the prices they would have to charge to do so.