Using a similarly contorted legal and regulatory logic that went into the design and subsequent SCOTUS justification for the ACA, a Federal District Court in District of Columbia (Judge John C. Bates) has ruled to block the Labor Department’s final rule on the implementation of Association Health Plans as an “end-run” around the ACA.
So let’s all pretend it all worked out just peachy, as the flimsy arguments made by the Plaintiffs suggest, and remove yet another financial tool which might help small businesses and individuals obtain affordable, more portable coverage!
Ostensibly and officially, the goal of the ACA was to expand affordable health insurance coverage. Yet it has, arguably and predictably, expanded the Health Insurance Industrial complex by propping it up with tax-payer subsidized funds and making insurance MORE expensive.
And who cautions against the new AHP final Labor Department rules? Who else but the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
“…we remain concerned that broadly expanding the use of AHPs may lead to higher premiums for consumers who depend on the individual or small group market for their coverage. Ultimately, the rule could result in fewer insured Americans and may put consumers at greater risk of fraudulent actors entering this market.”
Really? Higher premiums? Compared to what?
In the ACA individual market insurance exchanges, single coverage premiums (unsubsidized) increased by 62% and family coverage premiums increased by 75% just since implementation of ObamaCare!
The financial life support of the community rating standards in the ACA Individual Market was contingent on a “Young-Healthy” participation rate of roughly 40%. It never happened as predicted, thus the skyrocketing premiums in the Individual Market.
The only concern of opponents of AHPs and other market reforms is to ensure that our healthcare dollars keep flowing through the channels they control.