Zero Understanding of Health Insurance Economics

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of who should be controlling health care in this country, you should find this troubling:

The Health and Human Services secretary wrote that some insurers have been attributing part of their 2011 premium increases to ObamaCare and warned that “there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.”

Zero tolerance for expressing an opinion, or offering an explanation to policyholders? They’re more subtle than this in Caracas.

Indeed they are.

ObamaCare gives Ms. Sebelius’s regulators the power to define “unreasonable” premium hikes, which will mean whatever they decide it will mean later this fall. She promised to keep a list of insurers “with a record of unjustified rate increases” and then to bar them from ObamaCare’s subsidized “exchanges” when they come on line in 2014. In other words, insurers must accept price controls now or face the retribution of a de facto ban on selling their products to consumers four years from now.

When a government states that something should simply not change in price, it attempts to override the market, as un-free as that market may be. It is rarely successful without coercion. When it is successful, it often destroys the particular part of the market it monkeyed with.

Coercion at this level, with a sitting cabinet secretary telling insurers that they will be left to die if they do not cover for the administration, cuts at the very root of what it means to be a free society.