Monday, September 13, 2010

HHS Secy Threatens Insurers

The title, of course, will shock no one, but let's explain...

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal says:
Witness Kathleen Sebelius's Thursday letter to America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group—a thuggish message even by her standards.

The Health and Human Services secretary wrote that some insurers have been attributing part of their 2011 premium increases to ObamaCare and warned that "there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases."

Zero tolerance for expressing an opinion, or offering an explanation to policyholders? They're more subtle than this in Caracas.
ObamaCare gives Ms. Sebelius's regulators the power to define "unreasonable" premium hikes, which will mean whatever they decide it will mean later this fall. She promised to keep a list of insurers "with a record of unjustified rate increases" and then to bar them from ObamaCare's subsidized "exchanges" when they come on line in 2014. In other words, insurers must accept price controls now or face the retribution of a de facto ban on selling their products to consumers four years from now.

This is nasty stuff and an obvious attempt to shift political blame for rising insurance costs before the election. It's also an early sign of life under ObamaCare, when all health-care decisions are political and the bureaucrats decide who can charge how much for a service or product.
I have nothing to add to that, except this: if there's any good reason to obey the laws foisted on us by the outlaws in Congress and the Administration, I can't think of what it might be.


Ted Amadeus said...

Not sticking up for the freaking bureaucrat, but when Anthem/Blue Cross-Blue Shield (the primary health insurance most state and local gov't employees have and an animal that regularly feeds at the Federal trough also) jacked their rates 50% across the board in one month's time, there were probably vitriolic reactions across the country.
Sit tight, it's gonna get uglier - especially when the generation that's been getting almost everything at taxpayers' expense since 1948 comes face to face with the reality THEY are going to have to start paying, too.

Jeff Perren said...

Good points, Ted. I'm half-way with you on this one. I'm no fan of big corporations, whether they feed at the Federal trough or not. I've worked for many run by cretins who are at least as bad as any politician you care to name.

That said, when the HHS Secy starts taking actions that threaten the free speech and trade of any business, I have to speak up, even if it means appearing to side with the devil this once.

Lots of times in this fight one will inevitably be defending the rights of scum in order to defend one's own, and to advocate for a principle important to every decent person.