Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday LinkFest

■ Remember that promise that The ObamaTax wouldn't add "one dime" to the deficit? Well, that may be literally true, but:

"Figures from the Government Accountability Office suggest that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will in fact add 62 trillion dimes over the next 75 years."


Now, 75 years might seem like a long time, but don't be fooled, that's almost a $1 trillion dollars a year over and above any other spending.

■ We've written about rate increases in the Long Term Care insurance market, but what happens when a state forbids a carrier from doing so?

Well, Nutmeg State consumers (and would-be consumers) are about to find out:

"The Connecticut Insurance Department has rejected efforts by a unit of MetLife ... to increase rates on 5,800 long-term care insurance (LTCI) policies about 58 percent."

Their position is that, since Connecticut policy-holders haven't had a lot of claims, they shouldn't be subject to national rate increases.

Interesting ploy.

■ FoIB Holly R reminds us that, just because we have access to more health care information than ever before, we're not necessarily driven to access or use it:

"Consumers have access to more information than ever on the cost of their health care.Just one problem, according to a new study: They’re not interested."

Since we know for a fact that health care costs drive health insurance costs, this doesn't bode well for future health insurance premiums.

■ So the folks who are (allegedly) implementing the Exchanges think that there's no real role for agents going forward:

"The beauty of the exchange system is that if it works, you don’t have to use an agent,” said Jay Angoff, the first head of Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services" [emphasis added]

"If it works."

Aye, thar's the rub!

■ And finally (Yay!), more news on the doc shortage front:

"[The ObamaTax] is gradually making the local doctor-owned medical practice a relic. In the not too distant future, most physicians will be hourly wage earners, likely employed by a hospital chain ... will almost certainly make the practice of medicine more expensive."

So, health care (and thus health insurance) becomes more expensive, efficiency and choice plummet, and we're worse off than before.

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