Asked if insurance companies might raise their rates on health coverage and blame the increases on the new health-care bill, Pelosi said that the insurance companies should be aware that they’re not “automatically included” in the new health exchanges the bill creates.
“Unless they do the right thing, they’re not going in,” she said. “They will be relinquishing the possibility of having taxpayer-subsidized consumers in the exchange,” she said.
But don't let anyone spread lies about how ObamaCare is a government take-over of the health care industry. No sir.
What if an insurance company has to raise rates but doesn't blame it on the new health care bill? Does that qualify as doing the "right thing"? Even if the rate increases are due to the health care bill, as the Congressional Budget Office said? Is an insurance company on Pelosi's black list merely for raising rates to cover rising costs? Or is it only put in exile if it dares to tell the truth about why its costs are rising? The fact that this is now a legitimate public policy question is rather depressing.
In related news, Verizon just today sent a memo out to its employees saying its analysis of the plan means its insurance rates will go up, so it will probably have to start cutting benefits in the near future. That story will be repeated thousands of times in the coming months. So much for Obama's promises that "if you like your health plan, you can keep it."
More from Dionne's post:
Under the new law, the health exchanges Pelosi referred to will be created in 2014. By pulling customers together, they will give individuals and companies a better chance of bargaining when they buy health insurance. Because the exchanges are expected to serve millions of new customers, insurance companies will want to be part of them.
That's a pretty loose use of the word "want." More accurately, the insurance companies will be have to dance to Pelosi's tune or go out of business — and I'm betting on both happening. To hell with economic forces! Washington will dictate how much health care costs in this country now. I'm betting on that plan not working out so well, either. I'd rather not win that bet, but I have the history of the failure of centrally planned economics on my side.