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by Miles Copeland
Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2010 at 1:09 PM
Obamacare contains a time bomb that blows up five weeks before election day.
A provision in the health care bill overrides lifetime limits in health insurance policies. CBS news described it:
"BANS LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE-- Prohibits health plans from placing lifetime caps on coverage. Effective 6 months after enactment."
Short-term Benefits From Health Care Reform - Political Hotsheet
Historically these limits haven't affected many people, but lately they have begun to do so. See More Hitting Cost Limit on Health Benefits
The CBS link also describes another provision limiting annual limits but only applying to "new plans," a small category.
While prohibiting policy limits may be good, health insurance companies can and have a right to increase their premiums for the additional money that they have to pay because of these changes. Even in states regulating insurance premiums, the law requires increased rates for additional payouts required by law.
One can predict that insurance company actuaries will "calculate" this additional exposure and determine it to be very substantial. Insurance companies are not disposed to let pass good excuses to raise rates.
Even if Obama is right that Obamacare bill will reduce premiums in the long run, none of those provisions go into effect before this one does, in late September.
Thus, by election day this year, November 2, most everyone in America will have had a health premium increase. Because of the effective date in September and election day in November, most people who buy their own policies will have written at least one check at the higher rate.
During the election, the Republicans will remind everyone of Obama's promise to decrease health insurance premiums while millions of Americans will have just got through writing a check for a higher rate.
Making this provision effective just before election day must rank as one of the dumbest political moves ever.
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