President Obama seems to have a hint of President Theodore Roosevelt in him, here. President Theodore Roosevelt stood with American families and small business when he took on the monopolies and trusts. It seems that President Obama is doing the same with health insurance companies. We must hold these companies accountable
If you are the CEO of Blue Cross/Blue Shield and you want to increase premiums 10% or more, you are going to have to answer to the people in 2011.
President Obama and many others know that health insurance premiums are hindering growth in our economy more than any other cost of doing business. This is why he has taken the steps to ensure we hold them accountable when they decide to jack up the rates on our families and small businesses.
According to Kathleen Sebelius, Sec. of health and human services, health insurance premiums for a family has increased 131% since 1999.
Under the proposal , the flagged premium increases would be subject to review by the State and in some cases the federal government, to determine whether they a reasonable or unreasonable.
The rule applies to insurance policies sold to individuals and small businesses. Evidence suggests that over the last 3 years, insurance premiums have increased more than 10% each singular year.
The insurance lobby has tried to justify the rate increases. Some have said that younger people are dropping coverage, leaving fewer dollars to cover the the pool of older and sicker policy holders. This is partly due to the recession and the lack of full time work in the job market.
Before my conservative readers have a fit over the government dictating how much your premiums should be, here is the fact.
This rule doesn’t give authority to the federal government to cap premiums. Hopefully what it does do, is increase public scrutiny on the justification of rate increases. Public pressure works wonders.
The HHS has said, several factors weight into determining if rates are unreasonable, including whether the insurer is spending at least 80% of it’s revenue on medical costs. If rates are above the threshold, the insurer has to post the increases on their website and if the rates were deemed unreasonable, they have to post that fact as well, in addition to explaining why the increases are so high.
This is good news, for small businesses and working families. I have always believed the role of government should be to protect it’s citizens both physically from foreign threats and economically.
Hopefully President Obama continues in Teddy’s footsteps going forward into 2012, it will make us stronger as a Country and it will make him a stronger candidate.