Democrats are Worried About Health Insurance Premium Hikes Under Obamacare



Politico notes that Democrats have reoriented their Obamacare PR efforts toward defending against attacks that focus on higher health insurance premiums. The news, though, is not so much that Democrats are preparing to defend the law as that they are openly worried about the political effects of higher health insurance premiums.

"Most state health insurance rates for 2015 are scheduled to be approved by early fall, and most are likely to rise," the piece says, "timing that couldn't be worse for Democrats already on defense in the midterms."

The party behind the health law probably should be concerned. The conservative Heritage Foundation has projected double digit rate increases in states such as Arkanas, Alaska, and Louisiana. And, as the report indicates, "although no state has finalized its rate, 21 have posted bids for 2015. Average preliminary premiums went up in all 21, though only a few by double digits." These are unsubsidized rates, and some will likely be negotiated down. 

It's not clear how big the hikes will be, in other words, but so far it looks very much like the trend is toward somewhat higher rates in most places and significantly higher rates in a few areas, despite repeated administration promises that the law would lower the cost of health care. ("We end up saving $2 trillion…a lot of those savings can go back into the pockets of American consumers in the form of lower premiums," Obama said in 2009.)

How will Democrats respond? House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's communications director provides a hint, telling Politico that there's a lot of "misinformation" and that "you have to make sure that members have the historical trends, they have the new information in a straightforward way….It's setting the proper context that's so crucial here." The context and the historical trends all seem fairly straightforward here: President Obama promised that the law would reduce premiums. Now, with the law's coverage expansion taking effect, unsubsidized premiums for plans purchased on the exchanges look likely to rise. 

To the extent that there is a bigger picture here, it's that Democrats, having unilaterally passed Obamacare, now in some sense have taken ownership of the nation's health care system. Its problems are their problems, and that's not a particularly enviable position to be in going into an election. 

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  1. The news, though, is not so much that Democrats are preparing to defend the law as that they are openly worried about the political effects of higher health insurance premiums.

    The “openly” part is the news?

  2. How will Democrats respond? By lying their asses off and telling people not to believe their lying eyes. What else are they going to do? Tell the truth? LOLOLOL

    1. Won’t Obama just sign an EO pushing implementation of that nasty bit to past the elections?

      1. Too late. The rates are what they are.

    2. The threaten the insurance companies into delaying the release of the new rates till after the November elections.

      1. Too late. The rates are already out there.

        1. Well, the new premiums might be kept secret here in Sunny Minnesota until after the elections.


          You wouldn’t want the voters who see 30% increases to get mad just before the election and vote for the wrong guys.

    3. They could always blame it on BOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

      1. Well, that’s because it’s his fault, and you’re a racist for suggesting otherwise.

  3. The Dem response will be an extralegal expansion of federal subsidies for insurance companies via the “risk corridors” to put a cap on these rate hikes.

    Mark my words.

    1. Where will this money come from?

      1. is an example of a question barely anyone will ask.

      2. Where does any of it come from?

        The Treasury will sell more bonds to the Fed. The way they finance the deficit now.

      3. From the rich.

        (As used in this post, “rich” includes, but is not limited to, you, me and that guy behind the tree.)

        1. This made me laugh more than it should’ve.

  4. To the extent that there is a bigger picture here, it’s that Democrats, having unilaterally passed Obamacare, now in some sense have taken ownership of the nation’s health care system.

    Some of us have been saying that since it passed Peter. The Democrats now own health care in this country and every problem associated with it is going to be blamed on them, if for no other reason than because Obamacare was supposed to fix everything.

    Think about how stupid their defense is even if it were true, which it is not. They shoved this giant turd down the country’s throat on the claim that it would “bend the cost curve” and “save the country from bankruptcy”. And now that prices are going through the roof, their defense is really going to be “but prices were going up anyway”? Well no shit, didn’t you assholes pass this thing to prevent that?

    1. Well no shit, didn’t you assholes pass this thing to prevent that?

      No, they passed it to get more people addicted to even more government assistance so that they can ensure even more power for themselves.

      We all know how this ends, but unfortunately, the innocent will suffer as much or even more than those who are responsible for destroying a once great economy.

      1. they passed it to get more people addicted to even more government assistance so that they can ensure even more power for themselves.

        Except that very few people get subsidies and the ones that do are still stuck paying for overpriced insurance they don’t want.

        They passed this thing to completely fuck the middle class and transfer as much wealth as possible to the poor. People should understand that this is not a middle class entitlement like Social Security and medicaire. This is flat out class warfare fuck anyone with a job and not rich enough to not care.

        This is why this bill is both an economic disaster and a political disaster for the Democrats.

        1. Well after they’ve made everyone poor then problem solved.

          Of course they forgot about where all the money for their gravy train is going to come from when the middle class is obliterated, but then again, no one accuses them of being economically literate.

          And of course, there is the fact that the most corrupt psychopaths among them, like Obama, Reed, and Pelosi would be much more content ruling over a 3rd world crap hole than actually serving the people in a rich nation.

        2. And a future supreme court decision (Halbig vs. Burwell) could say that anyone getting insurance through the federal exchange is ineligible for subsidies because the idiots passed this law without working out some pretty major flaws hoping they could just regulate their way out of it. Without those subsidies, many of the lower income (and younger) buyers would drop their plan pretty quickly, leading to a pretty imminent collapse.

          Hopefully Justice Roberts just says “it is not our job to protect people from poorly written legislation”.

  5. But now can that be? We were ASSURED that would not happen. In fact, people were all supposed to see their healthcare costs decline, some people, thousands of percent!

    It’s called the ACA, isn’t that first word ‘Affordable’? Doesn’t that mean cheaper?

    So now you Democrats are worried that healthcare will cost more after you spent a trillion fucking dollars on this boondoggle?

    If the Dems don’t lose the Senate this fall, the American public is beyond hope.

    Of course, even if they do lose the Senate, Republicans will totally squander any chances they have to do something useful, being the Stupid party that they are.

    1. The Republicans won’t have to do anything. If there is a bloodbath in November, the Democrats themselves will want this thing killed.

      1. I don’t know, John. Maybe wishful thinking because there is just too much power and cronyism locked up in this thing for either team to want to get totally rid of it.

    2. Let’s set the wayback machine to 2012:

      If the Dems don’t lose the Senate White House this fall, the American public is beyond hope.

      I said it then, and I still believe it. Our political system is broken, and I believe irretrievably broken. We are locked in to a path of mo’ bigga government until the money finally and irretrievably runs out (whether via a collapse of the bond market or hyperinflation), and than a Great Realignment will occur that will be horribly difficult and costly.

      1. I don’t think many here believed that the Dems would lose the White House in 12, but most probably think they will lose the Senate. I try to not let wishful thinking get in my way of predicting these things. I said Obama would beat Romney, and I am saying now it’s very likely that the Dems will lose the Senate this fall.

        said it then, and I still believe it. Our political system is broken, and I believe irretrievably broken.

        It is, and until we take all of the money and power out of politics, it always will be. It has been proven over and over again throughout history that if you give certain people enough power things will go very badly. Those people drawn to that type of power are always the worst of society.

        People elected to high office in this country now have tremendous power and gain tremendous wealth through rampant and unconstrained cronyism.

        Want to fix the political system? Term limits, and outlaw cronyism, period. And when I say outlaw cronyism, I’m talking prison time in general population as the punishment for even trying it.

  6. Where’s Shriek when we need him to link to unrelated news clips or obfuscate by invoking the specter of Bush fis? Oh where, oh where can you be?

    1. In the “Hide this user” list?

    2. He’s looking for the lost emails.

      1. Well he’s not going to find them by never leaving his moms basement!


  7. The Democrats will do what they always do – try to shift the blame for the disasters they create to somebody else.

    It will all be the fault of the greedy insurance companies that are raising prices far more than warranted and merely using the ACA as an excuse for it.

    You wait and see – that will be one of the memes they dream up.

    1. Hillary gets elected in 2016 and she’ll blame Bush in her first State of the Union adress.

      Taking bets right now. Odds: 1:5

      1. She might blame Obama, there is no love lost between the Clintons and Obama. He already stole her fair due turn.

        1. Man, that was what I hated about Dole: the sense he projected that it’s my turn, goddammit.

  8. Don’t be ridiculous. Obamacare was never about lowering healthcare costs for individuals. It has always been about expanding coverage improving plans punishing the deadbeats and lowering the deficit keeping your plan giving out free birth control.

    1. What are talking about AD? There will be more and more deadbeats as technology progresses. The left loves deadbeats as they are the demographic tidal wave that will support them. In a universal suffrage democracy, like we have, the right (my version of it) should be in favor of the USG handing out birth control pills and such like Halloween candy.

      1. BCP too unreliable. IUDs.

  9. Wow. You mean no Ds could predict that community rating and shall issue would result in higher premiums?

    You just can’t trust “wishing really hard and clapping your hands” to change reality anymore these days .

    1. Clap along if you believe that happiness is the truth…

  10. It seems obvious to me — Democrats will compare the post-subsidy premium averages to pre-obamacare averages, and claim a “drop” in average premiums (ignoring, of course, the cost of the subsidies).

    Voila! Reduced healthcare costs!

    Since the in-the-tank media will sell this story to the uninformed masses, the average low information voter will see O-Care has a huge success.

    1. That would work if people didn’t see the actual cost of their health insurance. But since they do, I think they’re going to have a hard time selling that to anyone but the innumerate and the very few people who are actually being subsidized.

  11. You can see what they are going to do already:

    1) Blame every bad thing to happen on the Greedy Insurance Companies.

    2) Any itty bitty small good thing gets hyped up to the rafters.

    Christ on (in? is?) a cracker, people- you’d think this is the first catastrophically bad Liberal policy that the Democrats have passed.

    The whole appeal to ACA was that it preserved Insurance Companies as scapegoats of the foreseeable future. It was a major victory that the Public Option was excluded from this system, as it would have been a deficit-financed entity that could have further made the Insurance Companies look bad.

    I already see friends on Facebook posting statements like “This is what we get for not doing Universal Payer. Everyone is covered (yay!) but see what the profit-mongerers are doing?”

    1. Your (and my) retarded FB ‘friends’ aside, the scapegoating isn’t working. ACA is a political disaster regardless.

      1. ACA is a political disaster regardless.

        I truly wish this were the case.

        These fuckers should be losing 75% of votes. But they aren’t. FUCK! The Democrats are still trusted on the Economy.

        Healthcare is hard, see? There is always some number you can point to, or percentage or fraction inversed that you can present, and then the BP’s and other Dem Underground zealots fw them on to their fellow sycophants and the average person’s eyes glaze over because numbers are hard.

    2. “1) Blame every bad thing to happen on the Greedy Insurance Companies.”

      You beat me to it. There is no disaster team blue cannot blame on the FREE MARKET and/or rethuglicans.
      See our resident turd as an example.

  12. Democrats are Worried About Health Insurance Premium Hikes Under Obamacare Losing the Next Two Elections.

    Fixed it. They don’t give a shit about your insurance premiums. They care about winning elections, that’s it.

  13. This doesn’t make any sense. I put on those damn pajamas and drank that hot chocolate. Wasn’t that supposed to make my life better, or something?

  14. Still OT =

    Aforementioned Chicago Gunmurderspree? Significantly undercounted actual number of people shot and killed!

    So that’s 14 dead, not 9 (or 11, the previous ‘update’) – and *82* people shot, and not oh, 50-something.

    And this… “even with the best police and the best policing strategy in the world” (that’s not a joke!) -!

    Because how can mere *people* stop the willful nature of firearms to kill indiscriminately??

    This sort of stuff is be “humdrum news”, while things like the Trayvon Martin shooting cause a national uproar over the ‘injustice’ of Stand Your Ground…. or how Elliot Rogers was a symptom of Patriarchy?….

    …its just appalling how retarded our country has become. A million words were spilled about how these other ‘isolated events’ were somehow significant of the national zeitgeist… whereas, a dozen people can get shot to death *in due course* of a weekend… and it is significant of nothing other than, erm… guns and stuff.


    1. How’s that blood pressure GILMORE?

  15. Already got the notice, +16% next year.

  16. It will be blamed on the nasty Insurance Cos who expect to make profits from people dying!

  17. Pelosi’s communications director provides a hint, telling Politico … “It’s setting the proper context that’s so crucial here.”

    Ooh, can *I* try being Pelosi’s communications director?

    *** clears throat ***

    “It’s proper to contextualize the crucial setting. So, impropriety is the unsettling crux here.”

    Hey, this is *fun*!

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