ObamaCare Dominoes Falling

C. MacLeod Fuller
The predictable consequences of forcing companies to sell healthcare insurance to people with pre-exisiting conditions are unfolding. On Tuesday, American Thinker reported that a mere two weeks after President Obama signed ObamaCare into law, one result was that Massachusetts Democrat Governor, Deval Patrick, "rejected 235 of 274 insurer requests for premium increases for individuals and small businesses over the coming year" -- requests made by that state's three largest nonprofit insurers, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim, and Tufts Heath Plan.

Later in the week, the insurers simply stopped selling policies. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, three of the four largest suffered net operating losses in 2009 and the Democrats' "arbitrary rate cap will result in another $100 million in collective losses this year [...making...] it impossible to pay the anticipated costs of claims, and threatening the near-term solvency of some companies."  The Journal noted,

...state officials have demanded that the insurers-under the threat of fines and other regulatory punishments-resume offering quotes by today and to revert to year-old base premiums.  Let that one sink in:  Mr. Patrick has made the health insurance business so painful the government actually has to order private companies to sell their products (albeit at sub-market costs).

The article also reveals a number of interesting facts, including:

-  Massachusetts' "insurance regulators have concluded the reason [that state's] premiums are the highest in the nation is the underlying cost of health care, not the supposed industry abuses" imagined by President Obama and Governor Patrick.

-  The unsurprising fact that because Massachusetts' universal healthcare mandate prohibits exclusion for pre-existing conditions, people simply "wait until they're about to incur major medical expenses before buying insurance and transfer the costs to everyone else."

-  Once the medical emergency has passed, short-term enrollees drop their coverage - because they know they can demand "insurance" the next time they want it.

-  Blue Cross Blue Shield reported "short-term customers ... ran up costs more than four times the average" and dropped coverage "within three months."  Harvard Pilgrim's experience with such hit-and-run enrollees is that they remained with the plan "fewer than five months and on average incurred costs about 600% higher."

Of course, when their next medical stubbed toe happens, such short-term "purchasers" will return. Under ObamaCare, Massachusetts foreshadows the future of all 50 states - with a socialist-inspired financial vengeance.
The predictable consequences of forcing companies to sell healthcare insurance to people with pre-exisiting conditions are unfolding. On Tuesday, American Thinker reported that a mere two weeks after President Obama signed ObamaCare into law, one result was that Massachusetts Democrat Governor, Deval Patrick, "rejected 235 of 274 insurer requests for premium increases for individuals and small businesses over the coming year" -- requests made by that state's three largest nonprofit insurers, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim, and Tufts Heath Plan.

Later in the week, the insurers simply stopped selling policies. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, three of the four largest suffered net operating losses in 2009 and the Democrats' "arbitrary rate cap will result in another $100 million in collective losses this year [...making...] it impossible to pay the anticipated costs of claims, and threatening the near-term solvency of some companies."  The Journal noted,

...state officials have demanded that the insurers-under the threat of fines and other regulatory punishments-resume offering quotes by today and to revert to year-old base premiums.  Let that one sink in:  Mr. Patrick has made the health insurance business so painful the government actually has to order private companies to sell their products (albeit at sub-market costs).

The article also reveals a number of interesting facts, including:

-  Massachusetts' "insurance regulators have concluded the reason [that state's] premiums are the highest in the nation is the underlying cost of health care, not the supposed industry abuses" imagined by President Obama and Governor Patrick.

-  The unsurprising fact that because Massachusetts' universal healthcare mandate prohibits exclusion for pre-existing conditions, people simply "wait until they're about to incur major medical expenses before buying insurance and transfer the costs to everyone else."

-  Once the medical emergency has passed, short-term enrollees drop their coverage - because they know they can demand "insurance" the next time they want it.

-  Blue Cross Blue Shield reported "short-term customers ... ran up costs more than four times the average" and dropped coverage "within three months."  Harvard Pilgrim's experience with such hit-and-run enrollees is that they remained with the plan "fewer than five months and on average incurred costs about 600% higher."

Of course, when their next medical stubbed toe happens, such short-term "purchasers" will return. Under ObamaCare, Massachusetts foreshadows the future of all 50 states - with a socialist-inspired financial vengeance.