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

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