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EDITORIAL: Paying the ObamaCare premium

By The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

April 14--Contrary to the Obama administration's empty assurances, ObamaCare-related premiums are not on pace for merely a slight increase next year. Health insurance officials tell The Hill newspaper that patients could see their fees double in some parts of the country.

Their response follows comments by former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who told Congress that rates in 2015 will rise slowly. "The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act," she said.

Fat chance, according to industry insiders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- no doubt in response to Ms. Sebelius' threats against those who speak ill of ObamaCare.

One insurance official from a "populous swing state" says he expects his company to triple its rates, The Hill reports.

Specifically, areas with older, sicker or smaller populations stand to be hit the hardest, insurance officials say. Another factor is ObamaCare's barrage of new fees and unrelenting regulations.

And then there's the law's continuing uncertainty. The more President Obama fiddles with implementation, making it up as he goes along, the greater the spike in rates, observers say.

Insurers already are nervous about the small number of enrolled young people, who are vital to ObamaCare's balance sheet. At last count, this cohort only makes up about a quarter of participants in insurance exchanges.

So once again, what's promised under ObamaCare is far removed from reality. And for this, there's only one treatment: extraction, roots and all.

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(c)2014 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)

Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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