I assume any bill passed by Congress will do the opposite of what its title says and I’m usually correct. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be the best example of this. Going by the title you would assume the bill is means to lower the cost of healthcare in this country. What it actually does is puts a gun to everybody head (which really is the only thing the government knows how to do) to force them to buy health insurance. What happens when a business knows you must do business with them? This:
WASHINGTON — Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.
And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. Of course government officials are going to ensure the requests are scaled back because the health insurance companies paid them a great deal to pass the ACA so they could jack up rates. If government officials actually care about the costs fronted by the people they would have made it illegal to raise insurance rates (or not have passed the ACA in the first place).
If you live in the Twin Cities you know what game is being played here. It’s the same game Xcel Energy plays every few years. Xcel will request to raise its rates by a large amount knowing government officials who oversee its granted power provision monopoly will scale back the request. So long as Xcel demands double of what it really wants it gets what it wants in the end.
Now that we’re all forced to buy health insurance the insurance providers are going to request to jack up their rates every several years. Government officials, claiming to be magnanimous, will bitch that the rate hike is outrageous and demand the rate be raised by less. Eventually a number the insurance providers and government officials are happy with will be agreed upon and we’ll all be forced to pay more.
Shit like this is why I thought everybody who advocated for the ACA was a bloody idiot. It’s also why I think anybody who wants to “repeal and replace” or “modify” the ACA instead of completely abolishing it is a bloody idiot.