• Increasing premiums are a political problem

    It’s interesting to read the op-eds on how the ACA does not do much to reduce the rate of increase in health insurance premiums. That’s true, and it will remain so until at least 2018 when the excise (Cadillac) tax kicks in. Other than that, it is hard to point to a single provision in the law that is likely to put significant downward pressure on premiums. That is a weakness of the law that has struck me as a political vulnerability since, well, before passage of the law.

    Aren’t Americans going to (continue to) get upset as they see their health care premiums escalate at rates well above inflation and wage increases year after year? Could that continue to feed a political backlash? You betcha!

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    • If only there had been some sort of competition from the government to use market competition to ensure fair rates. A plan, if you will, that was public…another option, if you will.

      actually, i think there are still ways to control costs without a public option (though that was the cleanest way). I’m a bit outside my area here but I thought that rolling back McCarran-Ferguson would allow the federal government to step in and approve/deny rate increases the same way states curently do. It could end up being a race-to-the-top with a federal policy that mirrors the best policies created by states; policies that only allowed reasonable rate increases, maybe indexed to some objective value (inflation? GDP?).