Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Thursday, September 16, 2010 :::

Last week, some health insurance companies announced that they were raising rates on some individual plans because of new guaranteed-issue mandates. A lot of bloggers on the left think this is an excuse for implicit collusion, but, as Megan McArdle explains, it obviously makes sense that a guaranteed-issue will increase costs. I think actual cost increases are the better explanation than implicit collusion, especially if the rate increases last.

HHS Secretary Sebelius apparently disagrees, writing that "there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases" and including this threat:
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.
Which would mean they couldn't sell insurance.

I don't know what discretion the law gives the HHS Secretary on this - whether she can simply choose which companies are allowed to operate depending on who displeases her, or whether she is following some relatively transparent guidelines - but I think this illustrates a good reason not to concentrate more power than necessary in the hands of government.


::: posted by Steven at 12:26 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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