Premium guidelines issued by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius empower the government to decide which increases are â€œunreasonableâ€ and subject to scrutiny, even as Obamacare's mandates boost costs. Ten percent appears to be the threshold.
It's not hard to imagine a scenario, unfolding over a period of years, where insurers get squeezed â€” pressured on one side by spiraling health care costs and on the other by the government â€” to a point where private insurance starts disappearing. Washington will be left as the only available insurer. Then, can a government-run health care system be far behind?
Indeed, although Obamacare was sold as a medical cost-cutter and money saver, it already is proving otherwise as insurers and employers reckon its mandates for increased coverage and adjust costs, fees and premiums higher.
Though the folks at PolitiFact and elsewhere don't acknowledge it, Obamacare is planting the seeds for PolitiFact's â€œlieâ€ â€” a future in which the private health insurance market dies under the weight of rising costs and the industry's inability to remain profitable because of price controls.