Remember this? “Premiums will fall by as much as 3000%” Keep dreaming

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This was WAY back in 2010

“…your employer, it’s estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3000% which means they could give you a raise.”

Steve Gilbert had some fun with this:

Let’s say an employer pays $4,000 in health care premiums for an employee.

If his premium goes down 100% he will save $4,000 dollars. If it goes down 3,000% that is a savings of $4,000 x 30 which = $120,000.

Which means that an employer will make a $120,000 profit on each employee’s healthcare insurance once Obama-care is passed.

You can buy a lot of unicorns with $120,000.

But now reality smacks into Obamacare


Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.

Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.

Small businesses. The backbone of the American economy.

In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013. These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.

In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders. The rate increases can amount to several hundred dollars a month.

The proposed increases compare with about 4 percent for families with employer-based policies.

Providing free check-ups and mammograms doesn’t come cheap.

The double-digit requests in some states are being made despite evidence that overall health care costs appear to have slowed in recent years, increasing in the single digits annually as many people put off treatment because of the weak economy. PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that costs may increase just 7.5 percent next year, well below the rate increases being sought by some insurers. But the companies counter that medical costs for some policy holders are rising much faster than the average, suggesting they are in a sicker population. Federal regulators contend that premiums would be higher still without the law, which also sets limits on profits and administrative costs and provides for rebates if insurers exceed those limits.

About those rate increase:

Although rates paid by employers are more closely tracked than rates for individuals and small businesses, policy experts say the law has probably kept at least some rates lower than they otherwise would have been.

But that wasn’t what Obama promised.

Many insurance regulators say the high rates are caused by rising health care costs. In Iowa, for example, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, a nonprofit insurer, has requested a 12 to 13 percent increase for some customers. Susan E. Voss, the state’s insurance commissioner, said there might not be any reason for regulators to deny the increase as unjustified. Last year, after looking at actuarial reviews, Ms. Voss approved a 9 percent increase requested by the same insurer.

“There’s a four-letter word called math,” Ms. Voss said, referring to the underlying medical costs that help determine what an insurer should charge in premiums. Health costs are rising, especially in Iowa, she said, where hospital mergers allow the larger systems to use their size to negotiate higher prices. “It’s justified.”

Costs are increased because of increased usage.

While employers may be able to raise deductibles or co-payments as a way of reducing the cost of premiums, the insurer typically does not have that flexibility. And because insurers now take into account someone’s health, age and sex in deciding how much to charge, and whether to offer coverage at all, people with existing medical conditions are frequently unable to shop for better policies.

In many of these cases, the costs are increasing significantly, and the rates therefore cannot be determined to be unreasonable. “When you’re allowed medical underwriting and to close blocks of business, rate review will not affect this,” said Lynn Quincy, senior health policy analyst for Consumers Union.

The practice of medical underwriting — being able to consider the health of a prospective policy holder before deciding whether to offer coverage and what rate to charge — will no longer be permitted after 2014 under the health care law.

And that’s when the fun really begins.

Some lefties swore that Obama was going to help small businesses. Of course, this was from people with absolutely no familiarity with something called “business experience.” But Yglesias was right about one thing:

And make no mistake, the health care bill is, all things considered, the largest income-redistribution program enacted in decades.

A White House spokesman said that when he said a “3000%” fall in premiums Obama meant a $3000 drop in premiums. But that’s not going to happen either:

“There’s no question premiums are still going to keep going up,” said Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research clearinghouse on the health care system. “There are pieces of reform that will hopefully keep them from going up as fast. But it would be miraculous if premiums actually went down relative to where they are today.”

Then again, Obama was never very good at math.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

13 Responses to “Remember this? “Premiums will fall by as much as 3000%” Keep dreaming”

  1. 1


    To be fair, he later said that what he MEANT was $3,000.

    He was still wrong, of course, but you should pillory him for the right thing.

    Not that there’s any shortage of idiotic statements on his part.

    I’m still wondering – how could the libs call GWB an idiot for 8 years and then nominate…Obama? Really?

    As to how he got elected, remember that the libs did call the president an idiot for 8 years. That’s long enough for a kid to go from elementary school to voting age. My theory is that this mass of new voters was convinced by the rhetoric that the president was SUPPOSED to be an idiot. Thus, Obama. It’s still being fleshed out, but I think it’s a good start.

  2. 4




    To be fair, he later said that what he MEANT was $3,000.

    He was still wrong, of course, but you should pillory him for the right thing.

    That’s why I wrote this, Alan:

    A White House spokesman said that when he said a “3000%” fall in premiums Obama meant a $3000 drop in premiums. But that’s not going to happen either:

  3. 5

    Nan G

    And what do we get for that higher premium?
    I was told after my last pap and mammography that they were my LAST paps and mammographies!
    Apparently, why bother.
    Men who get a prostate exam will not be getting them after a certain age either.
    Apparently there is a point of reduced returns for the cost of finding…then saving…. an older person.
    If you thought all that might be coming later…..look again….it is here now.
    Seems that loosey-goosey college bitch is really expensive to keep from having babies!

  4. 6


    You would have to be an absolute financial idiot to believe you could dump millions upon millions of uninsured people into the system and somehow expect lower costs. Especially when most of these millions of people will get the cost of their insurance heavily subsidized by people like me.
    The truly unbelievable part is that there is a large group of people who sit there and nod their head in the affirmative direction any time their President makes these kind of statements.

  5. 8


    Basically, Obama is the Liar in Chief.

    Most of our politicians practice, to some degree, the mass-hypnosis techniques explained in my previous link.

    Obama just does it best.

    The formula in a speech or answer: Lie. Lie. BIG LIE. Number. Lie. Another number and a little math word-problem. LIE. Lie. Another BIG LIE. Numbers again.

    The part of your brain that is inherently interested in numbers and math somehow removes the guards in the part of your brain that can process and detect statements as lies.

    It works. Evidence? President Barack Hussein Obama. More evidence? A second term.

  6. 9


    Quit calling him an idiot. Quit calling him financially stupid. QUIT ASSUMING THAT HE BELIEVES WHAT HE IS SPEAKING.


    When Obama speaks, the numbers don’t matter. The numbers are just tools in a toolbox.

    Even he knows they don’t matter, which is why he gives four accounts at four stump-speeches of one event, and each account will have different numbers given. Because the numbers don’t matter, just pull them out of your butt, and they will serve their purpose in the programming of your brain.

    And the lies will sail on through.

    He’s not as stupid as many Americans think he is.

    Most Americans seem to be as stupid as he thinks they are.

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