In case you forgot the official name of Obamacare, it is Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Many shorten it to just the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
One of the main benefits this massive albatross piece of legislation was supposed to provide was to make health insurance more affordable for everyone. Since Obamacare was passed, the average cost for health insurance has increased $1,000 to $3,000 per year. I know of one employer who was told by their health insurance provider that their premiums were going up 41%. That is not a typo – 41%!
Another shining example of the successful affordable health care provided by Obamacare is Blue Shield of California. According to their website:
“Blue Shield puts the care of our members first – not profit. As a not-for-profit company, it’s our mission to provide access to high-quality care, health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision coverage to all Californians, at an affordable price.”
Blue Shield recently reported a record high cash reserve of $3.9 billion, but that has not stopped them from submitting a rate increase with the state regulators. According to the submission, Blue Shield wants to increase the premiums for health insurance by 12% for over 300,000 of their members and 20% for others.
In California, the regulators can take into account the cash reserve of a company when considering a rate increase request. Blue Shield claims that the cash reserve is there for the future benefit of their members and should have nothing to do with their rate increase request. I’m sure most of the 300,000 plus members that will be affected by the rate increases if approved are more concerned about their premiums rates now more than future needs.
A number of consumer advocacy groups in the state are opposed to the rate increases and many of them cite the huge cash reserve as being part of their reason. Laurie Sobel, a senior attorney for Consumers Union in San Francisco stated:
“Blue Shield is sitting on a huge surplus that is beyond what is required or necessary. It should be used to hold down rate increases when it hits these extraordinary levels.”
Blue Shield says the rate increase is necessary because their actual payout has risen 12.5% in the past year. They also point to Anthem Blue Cross who cited a similar increase in payouts in their recent request to increase some of their rates by as much as 25%. The same trend seems to be hitting health insurance providers across the nation.
But Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) still runs around like a wild chicken cackling that Obamacare is working and providing affordable health care for everyone. It may be affordable to a millionaire like her who has no clue about the real world, but it sure isn’t affordable to the rest of us.