Health insurance premiums skyrocketing again

The price of energy and food, along with most other things, has risen rapidly since Biden took office, as Democrats have sought to destroy energy industries and have issued costly regulations as fast as they can. 

Now the WSJ has written an article showing that health insurance costs are skyrocketing again, with the biggest increases seen in years. 

Employers and workers are expected to see an increase of about 6.5% or higher in health plan costs next year. Health insurance costs are climbing at the steepest rate in years, with some projecting the biggest increase in more than a decade will wallop businesses and their workers in 2024. 

But somehow WSJ journalists didn't notice the elephant in the room: a new proposed dictatorial rule from Biden taking away low-cost options. 

To get the "Affordable Care Act '' passed, the public was intentionally lied to that premiums would go down substantially, even though taking away freedom of choice as to what kind of policies people could buy would reduce competition, and prices skyrocketed. 

On July 7, 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). This NPRM proposes to modify the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) and modify the conditions for hospital indemnity or other fixed indemnity insurance to be considered an excepted benefit. 

These proposed changes would support the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by increasing access to affordable and comprehensive coverage, strengthening health insurance markets, and promoting consumer understanding of coverage options.

Trump and the Republicans got rid of the individual mandate in 2019, due to the 2017 tax rate cuts, and premiums stabilized.  Trump also gave people back the freedom of choice to buy cheaper policies.  Democrats had opposed the move and said prices would go up substantially.  Either they don't understand economics or they are just willing to lie. 

Why would Biden take away the freedom of choice that made policies more affordable?  The answer is that he and his administration are clearly more concerned about government control than affordability for businesses or individuals. 

Average full-price premiums increased significantly in 2017 and 2018. But they increased by less than 3% in 2019, decreased slightly for 2020, and increased slightly for 2021.

The Affordable Care Act and the Inflation Reduction Act were intentionally misnamed to mislead the public.  Sadly, most of the media reflexively support Democrats and their policies, no matter how bad the results are and no matter how much they harm the American people, especially the poor and middle class. 

Here are two simple economic concepts that most of the media and other Democrats don't seem to understand or don't care about:

If you intentionally restrict the supply of oil, natural gas, and coal, the price of energy will be much higher than it otherwise would be. 

If you take away freedom of choice of what kind of health insurance and add many regulations about what must be covered, the price will be much higher than it otherwise would be. 

Image: Pkd2016 via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0 (cropped).

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