. . . . . HHS Secretary Sebelius said some health insurance companies were notifying enrollees that their insurance premiums will increase next year as a result of the law’s new benefits. “There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases. We will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protection.” Kathleen Sebelius: WSJ, 9/10/2010
. . . . . What a simple statement to include so much misinformation. The new law does not offer basic protection. The new law provides premium coverage for everybody in the country, legally and many illegally, whether they buy insurance or not. Because the new law covers everybody, many folks who formerly carried and paid for their own insurance have, or will soon drop their private coverage, because they believe the government will pick up the cost for free. The man on the street is probably smarter than any of the misinformed folks in Washington who are passing the nation’s laws. This is unintended consequence number 1.
. . . . . How interesting it is that the statement pairs premium hikes with increased profits. Profits, of course, are an evil of the capitalist system. As the companies’ revenue is all generated through premiums, if the premiums are not enough to cover their costs, the companies go out of business. Increased profits occur only if the revenue (premiums) exceed the company medical costs incurred. Unlike with our federal government, a company must read the laws that apply to them, and calculate what the cost of operating will be for subsequent years. If they do not anticipate the costs carefully enough (like Fannie and Freddie) they go bankrupt. Fannie and Freddie are still in business because they are government owned. Blue Cross/Blue Shield are still in business because the federal government has not yet put them out of business.
. . . . . Obama, Sebelius, and the nation’s lawmakers who do not live under the law, have probably still not read the 2,000+ page law, and have no idea what-all is included in it. To them, any and all information may be deemed to be misinformation. I would credit the country’s medical insurers with actually reading the law, and making careful calculations of the consequences for them, because their existence depends upon it. This is unintended consequence number 2: A bunch of folks actually read the law, because they have to live with it. Our lawmakers exempt themselves, because they have a sweeter deal.
. . . . . For those who receive a portion of their health premium paid for by an employer or former employer after retirement, Obama’s law requires the employer to report their contribution to the IRS as earnings of the individual. These earnings were tax free to the employer, but not for the individual. The millions of folks who work, or formerly worked, will have a tax increase on these earnings. Obama promised no increase in taxes. This information, of course, is misinformation.
. . . . . Because of the new coverage requirements (no refusals for pre-existing conditions, increased coverage for children to age 26, no co-payments for preventive care, eliminate lifetime coverage caps) the companies are all responsible to calculate how much their expenses will rise. They must pay for all such additional coverage benefits. These are all intended consequences, not misinformation.
. . . . . If an employer chooses to drop health coverage on his employees, the law imposes a penalty on the employer which will cost less than the coverage??? This deceptive provision is clearly designed to encourage employers to drop coverage (it will cost less), and the folks dropped will go into an exchange pool of some kind, yet to be defined. This catch-22 provision applies for all employers whose policies do not meet the government’s premium policy standards.
. . . . . All of this misinformation was generated by those who actually read the bill because it applies to them. The legislators who passed the bill did not feel it was necessary to read the bill before passing it on to us. As Speaker Pelosi said “Now that we have passed it, we can find out what is in it”. Clearly this public misinformation includes the Speaker, who doesn’t know what is in it, either.
. . . . . The man on Main Street has to live with the provisions of the bill, while all of the so-called misinformation is actually real information that leaked out into the public. When all the lies in Washington are revealed, the farmers in Kansas call it simply government bullshit. Secretary Sebelius apparently never learned this lesson before she was called, at the last minute, to Washington. Kathleen! You’re not in Kansas any more.
. . . . . The correction reminds me of the lyrics of the song Mama Don’t Allow No Banjo Playing Round Here. The rest of the lyrics say: We don’t care what Mama don’t allow. We’re gonna play our banjos anyhow.
. . . . . It follows that America’s capitalist pigs are gonna raise their premiums anyhow. It is absolutely required to stay in business. Our current federal government will do its best to put them out of business as soon as possible. Only the federal government can pay for stuff with money it doesn’t have. They can even spend money they don’t have for the next 50-100 years. In this picture, exactly who are the real capitalist pigs. Hello! Washington DC. Are you there?
. . . . . Strange, isn’t it, that so many capitalist pigs now are passing our federal laws? Their snouts are all planted deeply into the government trough.