Democrats don’t want people to tell the truth about their health care nationalization act. In the past, we’ve seen them ask for people to report their neighbors who speak ill of Democratic health care plans. We’ve seen them summon executives who disclosed the law’s impact on their books (as required by law) to Capitol Hill for a tongue-lashing. And we’ve seen them promise to “reeducate” those who oppose the law.
Now, health insurance companies that explain to their customers how the new law is forcing rate increases are coming under fire from the Obama administration:
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.
Once the nationalization law goes into full effect, most individual purchases of health care will have to go through the exchanges. Sure, there’s no requirement to use the exchanges, but few will be able to afford to forgo the subsidy. (It’s much like schooling: you pay for public school through your taxes, so you have to pay twice to use a private school instead. Most people can’t afford that.) And that’s assuming that the government doesn’t make the exchanges an outright requirement, which Democrats would dearly love to do.
So what Sebelius is saying is: tell your customers the truth about our law, and we will put you out of business.
Conversely, Sebelius is saying that we the public will not be permitted to buy insurance from anyone who tells us the truth.
This is an outrage, but it’s just the logical extension of the thuggery we’ve seen throughout this administration’s health care nationalization campaign. The administration demanded that industries pony up in support of the campaign, and those who didn’t bid enough got the shaft. Sebelius is warning her victims that they still have more shaft to give.
POSTSCRIPT: It’s no excuse for thuggery even if Sebelius is right and the insurance companies are wrong. But in any case, that’s vanishingly unlikely: Sebelius does not understand how business works, she admits she has no idea what Obamacare will cost, and she is a liar and a demagogue. (She’s also a tax cheat, but I suppose that doesn’t matter in this case.)
UPDATE: Yeah, she’s lying. Her own agency predicted hikes similar to these.
UPDATE: Michael Barone weighs in.