Peter Suderman at Reason points out how ridiculous the new insurance premium price controls imposed by the Department of Health & Human Services. New York Times quotes a federal official’s description of how the Department evaluates whether it will permit a proposed premium increase. Suderman concludes:
Thanks to this clarifying list of descriptors, it’s all makes sense now: A rate hike is unreasonable if it’s excessive. It’s excessive if it’s “unreasonably high.” If you’re worried that this sounds circular, then let me suggest that you hop on the Gravitron, start spinning, and let me know when you can’t tell which way is up.
Read the whole post: Health Insurance Rate Hikes: Unreasonable if Excessive, Excessive if Unreasonable.
See also “Sebelius’s Price Controls” from the Wall Street Journal. From the op-ed:
Ms. Sebelius’s true goal is to punish the insurance industry for rising health costs that the new entitlement is already turbocharging. Like so much else in U.S. health care, no one seems to find it odd that the government is decreeing how much businesses are allowed to charge for a product that consumers want to buy, regardless of the economic reality. …
State regulators, [Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal] continued, are “in an unenviable position as we are required by Congress to approve richer benefit packages, while simultaneously being called upon by you to reduce rates.” …
Politicized rate-setting is the new reality of the U.S. health insurance market, not that consumers will in any way benefit.