This one article is too little evidence for sweeping statements, but there’s a telling thread throughout it. The basic news is that health insurance companies in Rhode Island are looking for a big increase in premiums, even though the plans on offer are requiring more and more out-of-pocket spending.
What’s interesting, though, is the attitude of Health Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Hittner:
… Hittner’s staff is still reviewing the proposals, and the commissioner was reluctant to characterize how this year’s requests stack up to previous years.
“It’s difficult to say,” said Hittner, explaining that because of the many changes brought about in recent years by the Affordable Care Act, “it’s like comparing apples to oranges.”
“What our job is now,” she said, “is to look at these rates and make sure we have received all of the assumptions made by the carriers and make sure these rates are reasonable.” …
“People like to point at the insurance companies, but it’s not all about the insurance companies,” Hittner said. “It’s all of the other things that go on with what we want in health care and the way it’s delivered.”
- We can’t compare these prices to those pre-ACA, because that would be “apples to oranges,” even thought the ACA was sold on the grounds that it would lower prices.
- It’s all about “what we want” in the way health care is “delivered.”
The government and the insurance companies are now completely on the same side. The insurance companies want money, and the government wants to keep and expand its new health care powers.
This is exactly the dynamic that citizens should want to avoid, because it will result in higher prices, inferior results, fewer options, and less freedom.