While I have watched health sick care insurance premiums rise at triple or quadruple the officially declared inflation rate for more than two decades, what has transpired over the last four years is nothing short of criminal. Even though insurance companies claim the expanded ‘mandate’ of the ACA is directly responsible for the significant premium increases, two things stand out as glaringly obvious even to a blind man.
One, the first dollar deductibles and co-pays have risen even faster than the premiums, indicating to me that any greater risks absorbed by the insurance companies from the ACA has been at least partially offset by more money out of the public’s pocket even before the insurance company collects its first greatly increased premium or pays its first dime in benefits.
Two, one look at the huge increase in health insurance company profits since the ACA was ushered in, not to mention their stock price, is a sure sign these companies are not suffering, but rather profiting handsomely simply from the process of preparing for the full implementation of the ACA. They understood quite well a simple ‘bidness’ (a la Tony Soprano) concept. When change is imminent the key to making (more) money is to complain like hell about the threatened legislation while quietly lobbying behind closed doors for the ability to write said legislation. And that is precisely what they did, and continue to do, with the (re)writing of the fine print by the administering government agencies.
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