Sebelius: Rate hikes will be ‘substantial,’ and it’s not our fault

Now we know why Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was trying to gag insurance companies from telling their customers that the coming rate hikes are due to Obamacare.

Sebelius told National Journal Editorial Director Ronald Brownstein that the coming rate hikes will be “substantial” – but added, “It has little to do with passage of the [Patient Protection and Affordable Care] Act and more to do with the marketplace.”

At a February 18 press conference, Sebelius predicted that insurance rates would go down once Obamacare passed: “…the Congressional Budget Office has suggested that if you look at just the individual market, which our report focuses on, and look at the impact of the House and Senate bills on the individual market, comparing similar benefit packages and what will happen with health reform, premiums will go down between 14 percent and 20 percent just by passing the bills.”

But premiums are not going down 20 percent, they’re going up, in some cases by more than 20 percent. Ooops!

Sebelius, who is in charge of running the whole Obamacare octopus, got it completely wrong. Instead of admitting error, she’s blaming the “marketplace.” And she’s partly right — as many opponents of Obamacare pointed out for months, any rational marketplace is going to mark up prices to cover the extra benefits the government is now forcing insurers to provide.

Beltway ConfidentialHealth care reformObamacareUS

Just Posted

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led a late-game comeback against the Packers, but San Francisco lost, 30-28, on a late field goal. (Courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)
The Packers beat the Niners in a heartbreaker: Don’t panic

San Francisco is no better and no worse than you thought they were.

Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based vendor, is under contract to supply voting machines for elections in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/Examiner file)
Is San Francisco’s elections director impeding voting machine progress?

Open source technology could break up existing monopoly

Health experts praised Salesforce for keeping its Dreamforce conference at Moscone Center outdoors and on a small scale. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers proved to be too much for the Niners in a Week 3 loss to Green Bay. It was San Francisco’s home opener for the 2021 season. (Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers.)
Week 3 NFL roundup: Packers victory over 49ers caps off a stellar Sunday

By Tyler Dunne New York Times Here’s the Week 3 roundup of… Continue reading

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, pictured with Rose Pak in 2014, says the late Chinatown activist was “helping to guide the community away from the divisions, politically.”
Willie and Rose: How an alliance for the ages shaped SF

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

Most Read