CBO: Obamacare Rates Rising Over 8% a Year

The Congressional Budget Office predicts Obamacare rates rising from 2016 through 2018.

obamacare

More great news about government competence and superiority to the private sector. The Washington Times reports, “Obamacare exchange customers set for significant premium spikes, CBO predicts.”

[See also, “Obamacare Insurance Rates Starting to Skyrocket for 2015.”]

Obamacare exchange customers are about to see spikes in their premiums, the Congressional Budget Office predicted Monday, saying insurers that offer plans are facing twin pressures from the government and the marketplace that will mean hikes of more than 8 percent a year through 2018.

Now in the second year of full operation, the exchanges are critical to the success of the law. The government is using tax subsidies to attract more customers to help offset costs for the rest of the system.

Nearly 11.7 million Americans bought plans on the exchange in the second enrollment period, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced Monday afternoon, hours after the CBO’s analysis was released.

The CBO said premiums for the key “benchmark” exchange plans will rise an average of 8.5 percent per year from 2016 to 2018, faster than the rest of the health care market.

As far as I can tell from the article, the “twin pressures from the government and the marketplace” are pulling (or pushing) in two opposite directions. The government has been trying to keep prices down for political reasons but the effort is unsustainable.

The budget analysts said part of the reason is that the plans offered now are narrower than private plans and reimburse providers at lower rates. They said both trends probably will change, forcing insurers to raise premiums.

In the meantime, the subsidies are piling onto the national debt and will only go higher. The only way the government can hold down costs is either by rationing or by lowering standard reimbursements or both. Without a market to allocate medical resources where there is demand, the prices and services can only become farther and farther out of reach for the populace. Basically, Obamacare can only lead to the further impoverishment of the American people.