Monday, September 13, 2010
"don't tread on us" (or we putcha outta biznuss)
Health & Human Services Sect'y K. Sebilius
The mobster walks into an office. "Mighty nice insurance company you have here," he muses. "Be a shame if anything happened to it." Shortly thereafter the business owner "voluntarily" hands over a payment for "protection."
The Obama administration didn't quite pull a page from the Sopranos last week -- but it came awfully close.
Faced with the fact that the new health-care law was driving up insurance premiums, Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned that the administration would have "zero tolerance" for anyone who blamed them for those price hikes.
"We will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes . . . on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections," she wrote in a letter to the insurance industries' trade association.
At the very least, she noted "bad actors" could be excluded from new government-run health-insurance exchanges that will begin operation in 2014 under the law. People also might not be able to use government subsidies to buy insurance from companies that don't toe the administration line. What's next? Only companies that write checks to the Democratic National Committee can participate?
Well, at the risk of sleeping with the fishes, let's be clear about what ObamaCare means for insurance costs. The new health-care law requires insurers to provide coverage even for people who are already sick and forbids them from charging sick people higher premiums than healthy people. It requires all insurance plans to include a host of added benefits and prohibits insurers from capping how much they pay out over a year or a lifetime.
Posted by theo at 6:37 PM