Obamacare moving in to take over States control of Rate Hikes

Say goodbye to another State’s rights as the march of Obamacare moves forward. If the Feds are not happy with the State and their determination of a rate hike, why the Federal Government will just move on in. What will happen is that private insurance companies will be forced to go out of business. They will not be allowed appropriate hikes. That was the plan and this is how they will do it.

According to the agency’s rate review regulation, a rate hike may be unreasonable if it is “discriminatory,” “unjustified,” or “excessive.” Those are all just as subjective and opaque as “unreasonable,” and last two are particularly unhelpful.

 Today, Obama’s Health and Human Services department announced that the some part of the health insurance rate review programs in 10 states were not yet up to snuff—and federal officials could elbow past state authorities to conduct the rate reviews themselves. 

ObamaCare’s rate review provisions require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to review insurance rates in order to determine which rate hikes might be “unreasonable.” But how does the Secretary know which hikes are unreasonable? According to the Congressional Research Service, making that determination would require difficult, technically complex judgments: “The complexity of making such a determination generally requires analysis of multiple factors by actuaries and accountants. Such a review generally does not lend itself to the use of simplistic benchmarks such as merely prohibiting double-digit percentage rate increases.” [Bold added.] So what did Sebelius and her team do? They declaredthat health insurers must go through a formal review process in order to justify each and every rate hike larger than 10 percent. 

That still leaves HHS with a definition puzzle. What exactly does “unreasonable” mean? But it’s not a puzzle the administration’s health wonks actually managed to solve.

Under ObamaCare, states must either commit to entering into that funhouse by implementing the rate review regulation up to HHS’s standards (you can see the factors HHS used in determining which state-led review programs are effective here), or step aside and let the federal government take over. Full story at Reason  H/T:  Before it is News

Obama’s Wasteful Stimulus Spent $7 Million Per House For Broadband In Some Areas

More money down a rat h0le. And we learn we need to share the pain, or rather the wealth. I guess we have to get Al Jeezera out into Minnesota. It would be interesting to know who got the contracts. Follow the money so they say. Great video if you need to get stoked up with some great laughs. Sick ones, but you will get a chuckle. Vid from the Onion. Here tis:

From  Ace of Spades 

This is half the 2012 campaign right here.

Eisenach and Caves looked at three areas that received stimulus funds, in the form of loans and direct grants, to expand broadband access in Southwestern Montana, Northwestern Kansas, and Northeastern Minnesota. The median household income in these areas is between $40,100 and $50,900. The median home prices are between $94,400 and $189,000.

So how much did it cost per unserved household to get them broadband access? A whopping $349,234, or many multiples of household income, and significantly more than the cost of a home itself.

Sadly, it’s actually worse than that. Take the Montana project. The area is not in any meaningful sense unserved or even underserved. As many as seven broadband providers, including wireless, operate in the area. Only 1.5% of all households in the region had no wireline access. And if you include 3G wireless, there were only seven households in the Montana region that could be considered without access. So the cost of extending access in the Montana case comes to about $7 million for each additional household served. H/T: Ace of Spades 

Ace of Spades:

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