Insurers set to sharply increase Obamacare premiums

by Kate Randall, WSWS

US health insurance companies are preparing to seek substantial increases in Obamacare premiums, the Hill reported Monday. Citing big losses on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, many insurers will ask state insurance commissioners to approve double-digit hikes in ACA premiums and some may pull out of the market if they are not approved.

The planned premium hikes are a further exposure of the pro-corporate character of Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation. Both candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have embraced the ACA as a supposedly progressive health care reform.

In reality, the ACA is designed to funnel increased profits to the private insurance companies. Under the law’s “individual mandate,” those without insurance through a government program or employer must obtain coverage offered by private insurers or pay a penalty. The insurers are demanding a hefty profit as the condition for their participation in the ACA marketplaces.

[read more here]

Dissecting a Few of Hillary Clinton’s Most Recent Lies and Evaluating What They Tell Us About Her

by Scott Creighton

I was watching CNN’s town hall meeting with the candidates from the Democrat side of the Washington Consensus last night when Hillary Clinton was asked about rising insurance premiums by a woman from Ohio (that’s where the town hall meeting took place)

The questioner informed Hillary that she used to pay $400+ a month for insurance for herself and her family through a private company prior to the passage of ObamaCare and now she is forced to pay over $1,100 for the same coverage. She wanted to know specifically what Hillary would do to tackle the rising costs of insurance premiums.

Hillary answered her by telling her ObamaCare has done “great things” for the country, but yes, they have to do something about the costs. She focused on the pharmaceutical industry saying they had to get them to keep the costs down and that would bring down the prices of everything else.

This is a ridiculous assumption. It’s magical thinking.

If the price of pharmaceuticals decreases all that will happen is the insurance companies will generate more profits and find new reasons to justify jacking up the price of premiums for all their mandated customers.

Then Hillary went on to promote the federal ObamaCare exchange website, telling the woman she should do more research and saying she thought she could find less expensive coverage… if she took the time to look.

Talk about blaming the victim.

Hillary Clinton’s support for the fascist, mandated insurance program called “ObamaCare” is well documented. Also well documented now after her answer to that woman, is the utter disregard she has for working class women and mothers who are struggling to cope with the rising costs (and rising profit margins) of the insurance policies themselves.

Hillary pledged to “work” when she gets into office to get the co-pays and deductibles down a bit and reign in the pharmaceutical companies but she never said a word about going after the main perpetrators in this fascist fiasco, the insurance companies themselves.

Hillary thought that was a good answer. The response from the crowd was less than enthusiastic.

You shouldn’t expect Hillary to do or say anything else on this subject. She’s been serving the interests of Big Insurance for decades.

Take for example a recent lie she told about Bernie Sanders regarding her own efforts back in ’93 to pass what she has called “HillaryCare”

This particular lie, along with another she told this past weekend, illuminates the kind of human being she really is and it exposes why it is that better informed voters usually support Bernie over Hillary.

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Obamacare health insurers seek double-digit rate hikes for 2016

(Here’s some more of that special brand of Obama “socialism” for you”. What? You say? That’s not socialism? No it is not. Medicare for all is socialism. Mandated purchasing of a private company’s product which they are allowed to continually increase the cost of with reduced benefits is called “fascism” and that is Obama socialism… fascism.)

from the WSWS

A recent poll found that people enrolled for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges are more dissatisfied than any other group of insured Americans, mainly due to cost. A new study now reveals that enrollees insured under what is popularly known as Obamacare have even more reason to be dissatisfied.

The study released last week by AgileHealthInsurance shows that premiums for plans sold on the ACA federal exchange HealthCare.gov are expected to increase substantially in 2016, with many insurers requesting double-digit rate hikes. A statewide analysis showed that in three states—Delaware, South Dakota and West Virginia—insurers are seeking double-digit increases for 100 percent of Obamacare plans.

Under the ACA, signed into law by President Obama in 2010, people without insurance through their employer or a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid must obtain insurance or pay a tax penalty. The health insurance exchanges set up under the ACA offer insurance for sale from private, for-profit insurers.

[read more here]

More private insurers to hop on Obamacare gravy train

by Kate Randall, from the WSWS

A number of private insurance companies that have not yet sold policies on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges plan to do so in the coming year. The reason is simple: the health care overhaul popularly known as Obamacare offers a virtually risk-free opportunity for insurers to increase their profits.

Insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group and Cigna, as well as smaller companies, plan to enter the Obamacare market in 2015 and beyond. “Insurers continue to see this as a good business opportunity,” Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation told the New York Times. “They see it as an attractive market, with enrollment expected to ramp up in the second year.”

The ACA was designed from the start as a pro-corporate piece of legislation, boosting the bottom line of the insurance industry. The law’s core component, the so-called individual mandate, requires those without insurance from a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid to purchase coverage from a private insurer in the Obamacare “marketplace” or pay a penalty.

New changes to the legislation by the Obama administration virtually guarantee the insurance companies that any dent in their profits will be offset by a complex system of government funds. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has assured the private insurers that ACA mechanisms already in place will be made fully available to them, if need be at taxpayer expense.

The tweaks were buried in ACA regulations issued late last month and reported May 21 by the Los Angeles Times. Adjustments to key provisions of the legislation, largely unreported in the press, will potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance companies if they lose money on the exchanges.

[read more here]

Real Danger of “Obamacare”: Insurance Company Takeover of Health Care

by Naomi Pins

Election rhetoric shuns the big picture in favor of the bigger platitude. Now that The Show is over, we are left with the equivalent of a Sunday morning hangover following a binge of promises and lies. We leave the theatre of political spectacle on steroids for the real world of unstable economy, a globally and publicly subsidized financial sector, and increased costs of living on everything from food to education to health-care; outpacing declining median incomes. The average cost for health insurance for a family is $15,745 per year vs. a median income of $50,502, or about half post-tax take-home pay.

“Obamacare” is the name commonly used for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. The very moniker is indicative of how name-and-image-centric our world has become; Medicare was never called “Johnsoncare” when President Johnson signed it into law in 1965 and Johnson was not exactly a man of small-personality. At any rate, Obamacare or the PPACA ranks as one of the most misrepresented issues from the campaign, by both sides of the ever-slimming aisle.

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Supreme Follies

by Scott Creighton

Just a quick note: In a few hours the Supreme Court is going to release it’s decision on the Obamacare (aka the ironically named “Affordable” Care Act) lawsuits brought by 26 different states. I won’t be here when the verdict is released so I will go out on a limb and make a little prediction… the court will support the mandate as “constitutional” but will strike several aspects of the bill as unconstitutional, namely the part that mandates corporations offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and the part that keeps them from charging more from elderly MANDATED “customers” (are we really “customers” if we are forced to purchase their deeply flawed insurance scams?). They will do this because to them it is constitutional to force human citizens to buy a flawed product from a corporation but it is unconstitutional to force corporate persons to treat human citizens in a just manner. Plus, there is just WAAAAAY too much money at stake (for those of you who don’t know… MOST of the industrialized Western nations have a single payer type healthcare system and the big insurance companies have EVERY INTENTION of exporting our system and thus striking this down not only hurts their profits here but also in the future all across the world. Just think about those payment premium profit margins for a second. think about it… think about it…. good. now move on)

The fake left is inundated with dire warnings of life without Obamacare (first suggested by the Heritage Foundation don’t ya know) and the right is being bombarded with renewed threats of the evil soooooocialism (and when I say soooooocialism, Fox News style,  I mean Nazi Germany, Satan himself, and the dreaded social justice… cus that all means the same thing to Fox News viewers and “freedom” loving libertarians who pledge their support daily to the “freedom” of corporations to rip off their customers, pay no taxes for the services they enjoy, and poison our food supply) of single payer healthcare if the court rules in favor of the constitution. The stage has been set. The actors are on their marks. Everyone is ready. Are you?

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SCOTUS About to Disappoint Many Conservatives – Will Uphold Unconstitutional Mandate

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Go here to watch Jon Stewart shill for fascist legislation as he claims the insurance companies would go bankrupt if the mandate provision is taken out of the law. What a tragedy that would be huh? Anyone here have a nightmare story about a loved one trying to get coverage for a condition? Anyone here lost a home to a greedy insurance company charging way too much for there protection racket? Fauxgressive Stewart actually claims that having the government force citizens to buy inferior products from private for-profit companies is some kind of current “definition of freedom and society”. Fascism, the marriage of the state and the corporations, is what Jon Stewart claims is a “social contract”. I guess that’s Stewart’s version of a new privatized social contract between us and the state. How’s that for your “CHANGE”?

——– original ————

I don’t really do predictions here, except of course when I said that the Washington Consensus was going to do to us what they did to Chile in 1973 (Sept. 11th 1973 to be exact) and when I claimed prior to the election that Obama was not going to “change” anything… but aside from those and a few others, I try not to get into predicting certain outcomes. I just put the evidence out there as best as I can and let people come to their own conclusions.

That disclaimer said, here’s a prediction: the Supreme Court is NOT going to cast out the unconstitutional mandate part of the Obamacare travesty. No way in hell.

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