It looks like another Democratic surrender might just come back to haunt them.
But it also looks like Republicans will have themselves to blame for the Affordable Care Act exchange premium increases in 2015, for pushing the dumb idea that old insurance policies should be extended.
That cuts into new enrollment and insurer projections. Yes. Republicans will have caused the increase in premiums, but Obama helped their cause by folding under GOP pressure.
WaPo: Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini says premium increases in those 17 states … will range from "the very low single digits" to "some that will be over double digits." Bertolini said about half of the company's premium increases … will be attributable to "on the fly" regulatory changes … cited as an example the administration's policy of allowing old health plans that were supposed to expire in 2014 to be extended another three years if states and insurers wanted to.
See, thank you Republicans for pushing that really desperate dumb idea that will now raise rates, just like you predicted.
Bertolini also said the company withdrew from some markets in 2014 where the company would have to compete with new co-ops funded by the ACA. The nonprofit health plans were included in the law to drive down competitors’ prices, so it’s interesting that Aetna decided to stay away.
Nonprofit? Who knew. These new plans are a substitute for the public option:
The National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops, a group of 22 health insurance plans that will launch alongside Obamacare's state marketplaces. The Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or Co-Ops, are a small part of the health care law that could have big implications for its success. Nonprofits in 24 states have received over $2 billion in federal loans to essentially start new health insurance products from scratch. And the health care observers I talk to think that these plans have the potential to upend the health insurance market -- or end up as the next Solyndra.
They were meant to offer something of a replacement for the public option. Twenty-five co-ops received grants from the federal government before Congress cut off funding for the program as part of a larger deal to avert the fiscal cliff in January. 22 of those plans are now in the marketplaces.