Friday, July 10, 2015

State Health Insurance Mandates Main Cause for Higher Premiums

The promises of Obamacare were doomed from the very beginning.  Health insurance had been rising for decades.  Democrats promised if they passed the Affordable Care Act annual premiums would decrease by $2500.  That either was an outright lie, or some pie-in-the-sky fantasy.

It’s not like Democrats didn’t have information that would persuade them otherwise.  The CATO Institute published a 2004 report declaring the increased cost of health insurance was primarily due to government mandates and regulations.  More recently, the Council for Affordable Health Insurance indentified over 2,271 state health insurance mandates.

(Alexandria, VA) – Today the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) released “Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2012.” According to the study, the number of state mandated benefits -- which has increased steadily for 20 years – is now up to 2,271 mandates nationwide.

“One of the biggest cost drivers in our health care system is the steady proliferation of federal and state-based coverage mandates. When CAHI started tracking mandates in 1992, there were about 850 mandates across all 50 states,” explained CAHI Research and Policy Director, Victoria Craig Bunce. “Over the last twenty years the number of state mandated benefits has grown to 2,271. That’s an increase of 167 percent! Based on our annual analysis, mandated benefits currently increase the cost of basic health coverage from slightly less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent, depending on the state, specific legislative language, 

“The sheer number of state mandates will make it difficult for states to deliver on one of the key promises repeatedly made by supporters of Obamacare: it would provide all Americans with affordable health coverage. The essential health benefit plan design was supposed to give states the flexibility to craft benefit packages which would be suitable and affordable for their unique populations. But HHS shackled the states to the full load of mandated benefits on their books, and the prices of next year’s offerings in the health insurance exchanges are going to bear witness to the free-wheeling mandate craze of the last twenty years. Recent studies have predicted double digit increases in health insurance premiums next year -- the mandates are coming home to roost,” said Roy Ramthun, CAHI’s Director of Federal Affairs.  

Obamacare may make health insurance cheaper for some by subsidizing their plans; but ultimately, those costs are transferred onto others through higher premiums, taxes, or by just printing more money.  That’s a Grecian formula this country cannot afford.


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