Sep 28, 2011 8:35 PM GMT
Health Care: Until now, many of the fears about ObamaCare have been theoretical. But this year's 9% spike in premiums is concrete evidence of the substantial harm it's already doing to our health care system.
As soon as the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual report on insurance premiums was released, ObamaCare defenders dismissed its most troubling finding: Insurance premiums for family coverage shot up an average $1,482 this year.
Nothing to worry about, they said, it's just a response to higher health costs and bad forecasts. But wait a minute! Didn't Obama promise his signature health reform plan would lower insurance premiums? As a matter of fact he did, saying just before he signed it into law that ObamaCare would "bring down the cost of health care for families, for businesses and for the federal government."
Not only did that not happen, ObamaCare has reversed a years-long trend toward smaller annual premium increases (see chart), suggesting insurers finally started to figure out how to get costs down.
The only thing that changed this year was the leading edge of ObamaCare's hurricane of mandates and regulations. Insurers now have to let children stay on their parents' plans until age 26. Annual coverage limits have been forced up. And Washington bureaucrats are busy writing rules on what insurers must cover.
There were plenty of warnings that these "reforms" would quickly push up prices. Hewitt Associates predicted premiums would climb 8.8% in 2011 — highest in five years — blaming reform for at least part of that rise.
Even the AARP, which strongly backed ObamaCare, told its own employees last November that they could expect higher premiums, in part thanks to the reform.
And let's not forget that soon after ObamaCare went into effect, the administration was passing out waivers like Halloween candy because one of its provisions makes it impossible for companies to offer bare-bones, low-cost coverage.