The AP reports:
President Barack Obama’s top health official on Thursday warned the insurance industry that the administration won’t tolerate blaming premium hikes on the new health overhaul law .
“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.
“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.
Here’s a graphic from the Wall Street Journal article:
David Catron notes that the Department of Health and Human Services itself is not a “virtuous champion of truth in advertising” because of its inaccurate statements about the health control law’s impact on .
First of all, how does Sebelius know these claims are false? The analyses she cites project a 1-2 percent average increase in premiums. As I blogged back in June, her own agency estimated that just a couple of ObamaCare’s mandates will increase premiums for some health plans by 7 percent or more. Is 9 percent really that far off? Didn’t her own agency write that a “paucity of data” means there is “tremendous,” “substantial,” and “considerable” uncertainty about the reliability of their own estimates?
More important: so what if insurers believe that ObamaCare is increasing premiums by 9 percent, while Sebelius believes it only increased premiums 7 percent? What business does she have threatening insurers because they disagree with her in public?
See also: Gangster government stifles criticism of Obamacare, Michael Barone