Anyone surprised Obama and the Democrats want to control prices? Obama and the Democrat’s so-called "health care reform" was always about giving government more control of the industry.
President Obama will call for new government power to regulate insurance-rate increases as part of comprehensive changes to the health-care system that the White House will unveil on its Web site Monday, senior officials said.
The proposal -- part of a package that a top official said will serve as a "starting point" for the bipartisan health summit Thursday -- comes as Obama has pointed to recent rate increases as evidence that his proposed changes are necessary.
Last week, Health and Human Services SecretaryKathleen Sebelius drew attention to a California health insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross, which planned rate increases of up to 39 percent. Obama mentioned the increases in his weekly radio address and at a town hall in Nevada.
The new proposal, which a White House official described Sunday night, would give Sebelius new authority to oversee, and potentially block, rate increases that are deemed unfair. It would be based, at least in part, on legislation initially proposed last week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
The legislation would create a rate board, called the Health Insurance Rate Authority, which would broadly determine what increases are reasonable and justifiable. The seven-member board would have consumer, industry and medical representatives, as well as experts in health economics.
A top official said Sebelius would conduct an annual review of premium increases, and could work with state insurance officials to deny increases that were seen as excessive.
Nothing kills insurance companies faster than dictates from the government. Here in New Jersey, politicians made all kinds of crazy demands on auto insurance companies. The end result were higher rates and fewer choices. Many insurance companies simply abandoned the New Jersey market because they could not meet the demands and remain profitable.
Knowing that single payer is the true goal for Democrats, it is easy to see how price controls are a good start. Once given the ability to deny rate increases, all that needs to be done is to keep adding on more demands (e.g. no higher rates for people with pre existing conditions). As the demands go up and the rates stay fixed, insurance companies will start to fold and a real health care crisis will be born. Needless to say the only solution to the dwindling number of insurance companies will be single payer.
There is also a political component to this proposal and The Washington Post is quick to point out just how Democrats will use it to bash Republicans:
But it could prove tricky for Republicans: They must be careful not to be seen in an election year as siding with big insurance companies that are imposing drastic rate hikes on Main Street Americans.
What is really tricky for Republicans is that this proposal, unlike the last ones, won’t cost several trillion dollars and their best argument against the Democrats is gone. If Republicans are smart they will remind the public of the Democrats behavior over the last year and then ask the public if they still want to give Democrats this kind of control.
Via: The Washington Post