Originally published November 4 2014
Obama issues gag order to insurance industry; no price hikes allowed until after elections
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) For anyone who still believes that the Obama Administration -- the president in particular -- is not still playing politics with the Affordable Care Act, this story ought to dismiss those doubts once and for all.
According to reports by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and others, the president, through the Department of Health and Human Services, has issued what amounts to a "gag order" to private insurers, forbidding them to give clients new health insurance price quotes until well after the midterm elections (today).
This, some insurance agents have noted, is simply unprecedented.
Don't say anything
As reported by WSJ:
The new HealthCare.gov is set to open for broad testing by insurers on Tuesday, but they're not going to be publicly talking--or tweeting--about it.
On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services emailed insurers that it would require "all testers to acknowledge the confidentiality of this process to access the testing environment," according to a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. ...
The email alert spells out exactly what is expected of participants: Insurance-industry officials "will not use, disclose, describe, post to a public form, or in any way share Test Data with any person or entity, including but not limited to the media," unless the recipient also has agreed to the confidentiality provisions.
That "data" includes price quotes, which a number of industry analysts believe will rise dramatically this year, as additional individual mandates and requirements of Obamacare fully kick in.
"This year, for the first time in 20 years I can not even quote a replacement product because Barack Obama has issued a GAG ORDER to the health insurance industry instructing them not to disclose their January 2015 health insurance rates until after the mid-term elections. This is unprecedented," wrote insurance agent C. Steven Tucker on his blog site. "Normally health insurance premiums are released for public viewing 60 days before the January 1st effective date. Where are the reports on these cancellations and the gag order from NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN?"
'The GOP is in on this too'
Warner Todd Huston, a Chicago-based political commentator, notes that Republicans are being equally duplicitous, after having failed to make an issue of this leading up to the midterms.
"The GOP is in on this game. After all, you haven't heard a word about this from any GOP candidate have you? They are clearly running interference for Obama on this by staying silent," he wrote.
Huston, too, pointed out the hypocrisy of Obama and Democrats who pushed the Affordable Care Act with supermajorities in both chambers of Congress in 2010 -- before the party got a shellacking in Obama's first midterm election.
So much for decreasing health insurance premiums
"This is once again proof that healthcare is not about health for this most corrupt president in American history. It is politics all the way through for this man," he said.
"Your health doesn't matter to Barack Obama. He cares only about what political benefit he can get from taking over our healthcare industry," he added. "It is also proof that the health of Americans does not interest the news media, either. All they care about is how they can help Democrats."
Even former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius -- who was forced to fall on her sword for Obama after last year's disastrous Healthcare.gov rollout -- has admitted that health premiums are likely to rise next year.
"I think premiums are likely to go up, but at a smaller pace than what we've seen since 2010," Sebelius told the House Committee on Ways and Means in March, despite promises by Obama from 2008 through 2010, before the law was passed, that health insurance premiums for all Americans would fall by about $2,500 a year.
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