A front page story at the New York Times gives some bad news to die-hard blue readers: Obamacare price hikes appear to be coming, and they could be much worse than the President hoped. As Robert Pear tells NYT readers, insurance companies around the country are asking regulators for 20 to 40 percent price hikes as costs under Obamacare are turning out to be higher than expected.
There are some hollow words from unnamed federal regulators who claim to be ‘determined’ to scale the rate requests back, but the pesky numbers appear to favor the insurance companies’ case. The problem? The patients who enrolled in the programs were older and sicker than ‘expected’, meaning that it costs more to cover them.
How big of a deal is this? Ask Oregon’s PIRG, which put out a statement after the state’s commissioner found the rate hike requests by the insurance companies were largely justified by the costs. Again, from the NYT:
“Rate increases will be bigger in 2016 than they have been for years and years and will have a profound effect on consumers here. Some may start wondering if insurance is affordable or if it’s worth the money.”
These aren’t the kind of Obamacare stories Democrats will want as 2016 approaches, but if next year’s rate resets are anything like the disaster that seems to be shaping up in 2015, Obamacare may be more of an albatross around the party’s neck than a star in its crown. Could John Roberts be the sneakiest GOP partisan ever?