Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This is Another Fine Mess . . .

The comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy reigned supreme for years during the early
years of "talkies". Something that started out as a seemingly good idea often ended up going wrong which led to Hardy's admonishment of Laurel using the line "This is another fine mess you have gotten us into".

One could say the same of #Obamacare.
Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year.
Obamacare contains a blizzard of mandates and regulations that will make health insurance more costly. One of the most significant is its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs, such as co-pays and deductibles. Section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by Obamacare, requires that “a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for the any participant or beneficiary.”
In an effort to minimize the financial burden of Obamacare the administration has eliminated or delayed many provisions of the law that promised to lower the cost of health care.
The truth is, almost nothing in the law lowers the cost of health care but does manage to significantly increase the cost of health insurance.
Most of the provisions in Obamacare have only a nominal impact on insurance premiums and many that do have already been implemented. Annual caps and eliminating lifetime benefit maximums have already been applied to existing plans with a barely noticeable effect on premiums.
Frankly I have no idea why this latest announcement is news, nor do I understand how delaying this section of the law will have an impact on premiums.
The coming wave of cost increases, especially in the individual health insurance market, is due to a combination of "guaranteed issue" and community rating.
Obamacare is in reality, another fine mess.

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