BY MARK A. MONOSCALCO Your federal government is here to help you once again. Recently the United States Department of Health and Human Services has begun a campaign to stamp out a threat to our society, free speech. The following letter was mailed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the executive director of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), (the national association of health insurers):

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/09/20100909a.html

Some of these statements are hard to believe but here is what her letter says:

It has come to my attention that several health insurer carriers are sending letters to their enrollees falsely blaming premium increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act. I urge you to inform your members that there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.

This is nothing more than a threat by a government agency to suppress criticism of the Obama administration’s programs.

According to our analysis and those of some industry and academic experts, any potential premium impact from the new consumer protections and increased quality provisions under the Affordable Care Act will be minimal.
What about the analysis of other experts? Are we now only allowed to view favorable studies?

Moreover, I want AHIP’s members to be put on notice: the Administration, in partnership with states, will not tolerate unjustified rate hikes in the name of consumer protections…… Later this fall, we will issue a regulation that will require state or federal review of all potentially unreasonable rate increases filed by health insurers, with the justification for increases posted publicly for consumers and employers. We will also keep track of insurers with a record of unjustified rate increases: those plans may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014.
I knew that this day would come but I am surprised at how quickly it arrived. The Federal Government is in the process of drafting a regulation that will effectively control the rate increases of private insurers. Over time the Government will force the private insurers out of business by preventing adequate rate increases and presto the United States Government will be the “insurer of last resort”. You will then be in a single payer government controlled health care system.

If you doubt the effectiveness of this process I suggest you study the history of public transportation. Street cars and buses were once owned and operated by private enterprise. Over time government regulation dictated what the private operators could charge their customers. By keeping the rate increases below the cost inflation of the service provided the government put the private operators out of business. Government then placed itself in charge of public transportation.

The following quotation is from Friedrich Hayek in his book The Road to Serfdom:

When the state has the final say on the economy, the political opposition needs the permission of the state to act, speak, and write. Economic control becomes political control.

Mark A. Monoscalco may be reacHed at www.monoscalco.com
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